Fall 2020 vol 10 no 4

When we were publishing  our Summer 2020 issue, we imagined that by the fall issue we’d be done with the pandemic and all its themes. Not so. In Buenos Aires, Carlos Gamerro surveys the “pleasures of the pestilence” in a sweep of literary and cinematic manifestation and finds them wanting. His essay is followed by two more creative non-fictions: an imaginative document of a Rohingya trucker and jade trader in the China-Burma borderlands, and an excerpt from Jacqueline Goldberg’s remarkable autofiction about writing in, with, a body in permanent motion.

The poems speak for themselves, each with their original language humming under the English translation. Two of the poets made their first contact with their translator in IWP’s translation workshop in the fall of 2019;  a different wind brought us the combative poem from Romania.

Hajar Bali’s story gently renders kafkaesque a domestic scene in Algiers. And the storyteller in Djarah Kan’s  ”My Father, the Scafista” maps the brutal traffic across the Mediterranean, from Libya to Italy, as a descriptor and as a headspace.

To conclude, a review of a just-out volume covering the history of the Neustadt Prize for International Literature, awarded every October-- right around now.

--The Editors

Iowa City, October 2020


"The Pleasures of Pestilence" by Carlos Gamerro, translated by Ian Barnett

"Cirrus" by Thawda Aye Lei, translated by author with Kaylee Lockett

Excerpt from Book of Tremors by Jacqueline Goldberg, in Bill Blair's translation


Three Poems by Tautvyda Marcinkevičiūtė, in Caroline Froh's translation

": Note Recorded in 1990" by Manuel Becerra, in Kathleen Archer's translation

"Lonesome Hearts' War" by Marius Ianus, in  Liviu Martinescu's translation


"The Little Watermelon Seed" by Hajar Bali, In Keenan Walsh's translation

"My Father, the Scafista" by Djarah Kan, in Julia Conrad's translation

Book Review

Daniel Simon,ed.,Dispatches from the Republic of Letters, reviewed by Jan Steyn