join us in borneo

writers who want to hone your chops for writing about and for the world, the Abroad Writers’ Conference is having a session in Sarawak, North Borneo, in June, in which anthropologist Gerrell Drawhorn, a veteran investigator of Borneo’s incredible biocultural diversity, and I will be taking you out into the rainforest and to meet the …Read More

Six Poems by Mandelstam

translated with an afterword by Holly Woodward


Six Poems by Osip Mandelstam


Do not speak! Never, to no one, nothing—

There in the fire’s ashes, time is singing.



Dressed in a light shawl, you

came to me in the hall—

so swiftly no one knew,

nor heard the soft footfall.


The taunting form of your face

eluded my grasp in the cloud.

God, I called …Read More

a quietly masterful and thoroughly beguiling poem

by louis simpson


Once, some people were visiting Chekhov.

While they made remarks about his genius

the Master fidgeted. Finally

he said, ‘Do you like chocolates?’

They were astonished, and silent.

He repeated the question

whereupon one lady plucked up her courage

and murmured shyly, ‘Yes.’

‘Tell me,’ he said, leaning forward,

light glinting from his spectacles,

‘what kind? The light, sweet chocolate

or the dark, bitter …Read More