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Words Without Borders is one of the inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winners!

June 2012

The Queer Issue III

Image: Matt Lipps, Matt Lipps, Untitled (Reach), 2010, C-print, 40 x 53 inches, edition of 5 +2AP. Courtesy the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art

This month we present our third issue of queer literature from around the world. The writers we've selected stake new claims on familiar themes, and unearth insight in unaccustomed places, illuminating the global LGBT experience through their work. Uruguay's Cristina Peri Rossi lets us in on a psychologist's thoughts on love and fading youth, while Alonso Sanchez Baute's narrator is sideswiped by the news of Gianni Versace's death. Cuban writer Mabel Cuesta combines memories of early love and new traditions, while Dominican poet Frank Baez follows the Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo to New York City. Bangladesh's Shaheen Akhtar provides a charm against dreams of snakes. South Korea's Kim Bi shows us a young girl struggling with the world's response to her father. Israel's Ilana Zeffren confides in a household friend about her partner, Algerian poet Jean Sénac explores the intersection of love and country, and Salvador Novo gives us a glimpse into the untold lives of gay writers and artists in post-Revolutionary Mexico. 

 

Elsewhere, we feature poetry from Myanmar from poets Lyn Swe Aye, Tin Moe, and Myo Myint Swe, and also offer up the haunting conclusion of our serial publication of Sakumi Tayama's “The Hole in the Garden.” 

 

 

The Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo

I go to the four cardinal points looking for myself in a procession with all the women I’ve been


bilingual

Ne Me Quitte Pas

Seventeen years old: a terrible age for studying. A terrible age for anything other than fornicating.


bilingual

Death

If a queen cries an entire sea, she has to cry the Mediterranean or, at least, the Aegean


bilingual

This is How it is When You’re Involved with Sensitive Girls

cover image

I choose to keep away from shrinks and still end up on their sofa.

from “Edgard’s Lessons”

If singing my love is loving my country, I am a soldier


bilingual

Tree of Lips

She wished she were blind so she couldn’t see the man mincing around, mimicking her father in a skirt.


bilingual

Snakes, Husbands, Ashalota, and Us

The rest of the night we refold our spread-open bodies dreaming snake-dreams.

The Christmas Tree

We’re in a strange land and Christmas is nearing.


bilingual

From “Pillar of Salt”

In that room I met practically the entire fauna of the epoch.

I Think, in These Hours, of You, My Love

I feel the promises impressed by your lips. I repeat the ringing syllables of your name

feature

Book Reviews

Andrés Neuman’s “Traveler of the Century”

Reviewed by Megan Berkobien

"Traveler of the Century" is a novel of collisions: of intellectual idealism and cruel reality; of originals and translations; of complacency and unrest

Lauren Binet’s “HHhH”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

Laurent Binet took an unusual gamble when composing his debut novel "HHhH," a unique blend of WWII history, personal memoir and postmodern experimentation.

Nichita Stanescu’s “Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems”

Reviewed by Andrew Seguin

Part physicist and part naturalist, Romanian poet Nichita Stănescu was always a consonant lyricist.

Recent Issues

Rewriting Caste: Dalit Literature in Hindi

The Past in the Present: Writing from Georgia

Crucible of Languages and Cultures: Writing from Macau

Turning the Kaleidoscope: Writing from Lebanon

The Queer Issue IX

The World through the Eyes of Writers: Celebrating Fifteen Years

Several Worlds Simultaneously: Seeking Argentina

Charged with Humanity: Six Hungarian Women Writers

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.