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June 2014

The Queer Issue Volume V

Image: Lee Relvas, "Hags," 2009. Gouache on paper, 15 in. by 20 in. Courtesy of the artist

This June we present the fifth installment of our annual queer issue. We've gathered a group from all corners of the world to celebrate this milestone with us. From Colombia, Alberto Salcedo Ramos gets in league with the queens of soccer, while Taiwan's Qiu Miaojin pens fiery, lyrical dispatches from Montmartre. Belgium's Stéphane Lambert paints a nostalgic portrait of a teenage friendship, and Iranian writer Ghazal Mosadeq's beleaguered asylum seeker finds himself at a crossroads in France. From Israel (via Brooklyn), graphic artist Miki Golod blends memories of army service with a snowbound New York, while Spain's Elvira Tobío frames a carnal appetite in haiku form. Nao-Cola Yamazaki's protagonist dwells on a foundering relationship from the dentist's chair, while Algerian Rachid Boudjedra's Olympian falls in love with a student. From Mexico, Javier Malpica reads us entries from a coming-of-age diary, while Russia's Olga Pogodina-Kuzmina dwells on the allure of youth.  

Elsewhere in the issue we showcase new writing from Equatorial Guinea. Graphic novelist Jamón y Queso lampoons the man in charge, while Melibea Obono Ntutumu's protagonist takes a cab ride from hell and Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel remembers his island home. 

The Queer Issue V: Impressions from a Passing Train

The appeal of the Queer Issue is in seeing that great ambition writ small

Queens Football

“You're so gay you even want to get it on with men in cartoon strips!”

from “Last Words from Montmartre”

Dusk in the Latin Quarter was like a fairy tale or a love poem, like a Klimt mosaic, like glowing, rose-colored clouds reaching toward the heavens.

from “My Body Laid Bare”

My face was more akin to Florentine portraits of androgynous ephebes than to paintings of ancient heroes.

Ney Boulevard

"Your problem is that you say you are gay but have never seen a gay guy in your entire life.”

Full Body Scan

cover image

"Do you know anyone who died in the army?"

from “Carnia Haikai”

An omnivorous poet, / I eat everything.

Cavities and Kindness

It was almost Christmas, I had a cavity, and I was in the process of getting dumped.

from “Spring”

In fact, Teldj no longer felt anything at all. She only pretended to. She only thought about Algeria.

from “Adam’s Apple”

His skin and hair gave off an intoxicating scent of apples.

For Nina

I opened it and wrote the first date, and what would be the first chapter of that extraordinary life that was my own.


Book Reviews

Juan José Saer’s “La Grande”

Reviewed by Eric M. B. Becker

The author’s urgency to finish "La Grande" is palpable in the anxious prose.

Bohumil Hrabal’s “Harlequin’s Millions” and Jáchym Topol’s “Nightwork”

Reviewed by Mike Baugh

With the English publication this month of Bohumil Hrabal’s "Harlequin’s Millions" and Jáchym Topol’s "Nightwork," it’s Vánoce (“Christmas”) for fans of Czech literature.

Gunnar Harding’s “Guarding the Air”

Reviewed by Christie Roe

Steeped in broad cross-cultural influences from traditional jazz to Guillaume Apollinaire, Harding masterfully crafts vision and music into free verse.

Recent Issues

Reimagined Communities: Writing from Wales

The Queer Issue X

No Center: Omani Writers on the Question of Identity

Behind Closed Doors: Chilean Stories of Domestic Life

Dreaming of Us: New Swedish Writing

International Graphic Novels: Volume XIII

Laughing Matters: International Humor

Another Country: Afro-Brazilian Writing

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