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IN SPRING 2016, I taught a workshop for the Poetry Project called Prose, Prose! Many of the workshop participants were also visual artists. With one of the workshop participants, Suzanne Goldenberg, it turned out I shared a long history of early ’90s NYC queer and radical street activism, although we didn’t recall having ever met before. We kept in touch (as I did with many of the workshop participants), and the two of us met at my home in December 2017, where she modeled a drawing practice for me. I then offered her a methodology for writing prose poems that would be auto-editing, since editing/revising was a process that was proving to be continuously and profoundly anti-intuitive to her. Suzanne was on her way to Mexico, so I suggested that she write one daily and that each one be called “Against Travel.” I had myself been wanting to write a book called Against Travel, so I decided to also follow the exercise/prompt.

For me the word “against” in the phrase is not merely oppositional; rather it evokes a general ambivalence about travel, the against of rubbing up on an object, a kind of disavowing frottage.

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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

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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
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
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)
PIANIST, COMPOSER, SCHOLAR, public intellectual, and
Amy Sara Carroll is an Assistant Professor of Literary