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EDITORS’ NOTE

IN ALLIES, we ask artists how they approach a question that animates many of Boston Review’s political essays: How do people who are not alike forge productive alliances? This is not only a political question —all relationships are in some sense acts of bridge-building. But in a moment of global and national chaos fueled in part by intensified identity wars, it feels critical to see if artists have ideas that others have missed.

The result is an anthology rich in insight and complexity. Arranged in an arc that moves from familial, private, erotic, and ecological concerns to explicitly political ones, it blends genres to approach the theme from a plurality of perspectives. We didn’t ask anyone to toe a party line, and many among the contributors and editors are skeptical and critical of the term “ally”, preferring accomplices, comrades, partners, lovers, family, revolutionaries…

Editing was collaborative. Evie Shockley and Ed Pavlić, Arts in Society’s contributing editors, generated lists of authors to invite and helped think through which poems spoke meaningfully to each other. They also helped recruit Ladan Osman, who judged our Annual Poetry Contest, and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, our Aura Estrada Short Story Contest judge. Osman and Owuor selected winners as well as finalists, many of which are included here. Each frames the theme in a new light, greatly enriching the issue. The original idea for Allies came from Arts Editor Adam McGee, who then also worked to fill in gaps and did hands-on editing, with help from a cohort of readers, assistants, and colleagues.

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About Boston Review

Allies is the first publication of Boston Review's newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine's poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.

Other Articles in this Issue


FICTION
Sagit Emet, translated from the Hebrew
NEWT WAS NOT a little man. He was thick, hairy, and
THE NEWS ON THE COMPUTER was full of the damage from
“It will be the most wonderful sound I could ever imagine
(Winner of the Fall 2019 Aura Estrada Short Story Contest)
(a finalist for the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest)
JOHANSSEN WAS THE WHITEST PARK in the whitest neighborhood
POETRY
Or infinity almost, turned upright. As in
(a Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest finalist)
Nothing that interesting has come out
(a finalist for the Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest)
(Winner of the 2019 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest)
Rachel Levitsky & Suzanne Goldenberg
Cut along the dotted lines.
‘Alams are short poems composed and chanted by Bedouin
Fix me to your idea of midnight. Meaning
ETC.
Abdellah Taia, translated from the French
(from The Freezer Door)
AT THE START of 2019, gay journalist Jonathan Rauch
I FINALLY SAID IT aloud on a panel at AWP (the annual
Walter Johnson & Tef Poe interviewed by Mordecai Lyon
(from Social Poetics)
AT THE BEATRIZ GONZÁLEZ RETROSPECTIVE mounted by Miami’s
PIANIST, COMPOSER, SCHOLAR, public intellectual, and
CONTRIBUTORS
Amy Sara Carroll is an Assistant Professor of Literary