Welcome to Witty 12
Welcome to Witty 12
The issue spread before you is truly a Thanksgiving feast on the order of Alice’s Restaurant — combining abundance with a wide range of literary flavors and textures.
To begin, poetry in several varieties: new translations of Osip Mandelstam by John High and Matvei Yankelevich; selections from Francesca Gargallo’s Before the Lamps Go Out, translated by Dana Delibovi; and new work by Stephanie Johnson. In addition, Marithelma Costa remembers her friend Alfredo Villanueva Collado, whose poetry was recently featured in these pages.
We have two courses of first-rate nonfiction: a chapter of Quitman Marshall’s book-length essay Swampitude.
Talia Abrahams offers a fascinating encounter with a Kongo Power Object and Witty Partition co-editor Mills explores the symbolism of the Kongo cross.
Next, a fresh serving of Chris Lauçanno’s memoir Becoming, whose chapters have graced our last several issues, and will continue to unfold in these pages.
Lauçanno and Mills have collaborated on translating the second and final part of Carmen Herrera Castro’s genre-fluid Frontera.
Our visual art Portfolio is of new paintings by the remarkable Leslie Wagner.
Kelvin James’ short fiction, “Mabel the Slave,” serves as this issue’s palate-cleanser.
Under “Conversations,” historian David Myer, Witty co-editor Darton, and filmmaker Tobias Meinecke explore the faultlines of history and fiction, augmented by a text from the film adaptation of Myer’s Death and a Maiden.
WP co-editor Griffin has contributed a tasty Remarkable Read.
All this, plus sundry visual stimuli, will, we hope, make a satisfying repast.
Last but not least, I wish to make mention of three extraordinary literary presences who have recently, as my Cockney forbears say, gone before. They are: Daphne Athas, writer, teacher, and grammarian extraordinaire; Randall Kenan, an indispensable voice in fiction and criticism (and a former student of Athas’ at UNC Chapel Hill); and David Graeber, whose Debt: The First 5000 Years stands as an orientation point for contemporary radical thought. Their lives and work will be celebrated in future issues of WP.
Sending you all salubrious wishes,
Eric Darton for the Editors