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Michigan Quarterly Review
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The University of Michigan's flagship journal of essays, interviews, memoirs, fiction, poetry, and book reviews.
The University of Michigan's flagship journal of essays, interviews, memoirs, fiction, poetry, and book reviews.

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We're happy to announce Ruchama King Feuerman, Eric Rivera, and John Rybicki as the winners of MQR's 2016 Literary Prizes:

Michigan Quarterly Review Awards 2016 Literary Prizes to Ruchama King Feuerman, Eric Rivera, and John Rybicki.
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"It is like a pen held to paper, this story I have to tell, the stain of ink spreading, the color deepening everywhere all at once. And I have no words, no means to make them tell." Short fiction by Michael Martone from the Winter 1999 issue of MQR.

"Crying is funny. I am holding on to the arms of the office chair I am in, howling. Every time I come up for air, I am conscious of the secretaries outside this office at their desks in the outer office. Surely they can hear these noises, these sounds I…
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"Radtke juxtaposes the fragility of these places with that of the human body, writing, 'Someday there will be nothing left that you have touched.'" Katie O'Reilly in conversation with Kristen Radtke about IMAGINE WANTING ONLY THIS (Pantheon Books, April 2018).

"I like drawing because it’s immediate — it hits us faster than prose writing. And I like pairing writing with images; you can get a sense of the background space and scene — stuff that wouldn’t necessarily move the narrative forward in standalone prose…
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"Well, to hell with them. I'd rather / be a flower, even this one, so much like / a toilet-paper decoration / at a high school dance."

Somehow I never succeeded / in being taken seriously. They made me / wear things that were ruffled: off-the- / shoulder blouses, the tiered skirts / of flouncing Spanish dancers, though I never / quite got the hauteur -- I was always tempted / to wink,…
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Poetry by Eric Rivera from our Fall 2016 issue. I hide my cigarettes under abandoned bricks in the tall grass past where I don’t cut, between the siding and the downspout where my kids can’t reach, under potted plants their mother no longer waters. I’m…
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"Once you start to delve inward, where does it end? Must the diary be the truest expression of an individual?"

The act of keeping a diary has a long history, and a tangled relationship with subjective "truth.” Although diaries have long been associated with women, Margo Culley argues in the essay “I Look at Me: Self as Subject in the Diaries of American Women”…
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Ring in the Persian New Year with Kaveh Bassiri's colorful photographs of Baharestan in Tehran:

The Persian New Year, called Nowruz (“New Day”), is the first day of spring—Thursday March 20, 2017, in United States. It is calculated to the second, according to the moment that the sun crosses the equator. This non-Islamic holiday, which is shared by…
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"This storybook’s 44 pages of seemingly light entertainment feature one child’s story of primal loss, death, war, and a bittersweet survival, and range in scope from intensely private scenes to evocations of world history, all against a backdrop of joyful immersion in color and form."

One or more pictures stand out as the book’s primal raison d’etre; that is, there is at least one picture which activates a “flashbulb memory” from the creator’s childhood and which the story explains in an ambiguous way. The manifest storybook…
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"At its heart, 'The Little Typewriter' is a love story. But Kracauer’s narrator wrestles with his attraction for what is not a person, arming himself with language as his best defense."

In “The Little Typewriter,” Kracauer offers a cautionary tale against commodity fetishization with humor, while also conjuring an uncomfortable metaphor to do with the purchase of women and the use of their bodies for pleasure. The reader is left to…
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"Sally watches his stricken face, so close to hers, so familiar, so changing, withdrawing. His shoulders tremble. He's holding a shoe."

He sits in a creased maroon leather recliner with his feet flat on the rug. The book is slender, nearly weightless in his hands. The door of his tiny study is closed. He reads by the light of a lamp which sits on a dark oak desk now cluttered with a few…
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