After a pause so long that 91st Meridian at times seemed no more than a virtual line, the journal is back, manifestly. Its new look (redesigned by Kelly McLaughlin) is layered. So is its content.

Travelling to Ramallah in spring ‘05 to visit old IWP friends, the peripatetic Amsterdammer Chris Keulemans sketches the middle terrain in which some Palestinian cultural institutions are surviving between the rock of the growing Israeli wall and the hard place of islamic fundamentalism.

Harish Trivedi, who has done, taught and thought about translation for a long time, in New Delhi and worldwide, strikes a blow against one current theoretical favorite trope, 'cultural translation,' arguing that if everything is grist for its terminological mill, only global cultural mush will be had in the end.

Translated from the Bengali in the classical sense, meticulously, is Mohammad Rafiq's grand "Open Poem" from the early 1980s. "It is less a 'political poem' than poetry's natural expression of freedom in an opposing voice and provocative form," writes its translator Carolyn B. Brown in her introduction. A few more lyrical poems, selected from his recent collection, Bishkale Sandhya, also translated by Ms. Brown, follow.

Med Magani's story “Writing in the Mirror of a River,” conceived on the banks of the Iowa River, populates our small academic town with a large literary conference, then animates it by a mysterious force…. Nabokov meets Borges on the 91st meridian….

We close with an "In Memoriam" for the Malay poet T. Alias Taib, invited to be a participant in the 2004 IWP residency in Iowa City. He died just before leaving his home in Kuala Lumpur. Here he is remembered in his friend Eddin Khoo’s eulogy, read in Iowa City; he lives on in his poetry.

And a link to "Bitter Bamboo" in which John Updike takes the measure of two recent Chinese novels Big Breasts, Wide Hips by Mo Yan and Emperor of China by Su Tong, both IWP alumni.

Point, click, scroll, read.