The most recent Winter Reading edition of Tin House magazine is out and for many it will provide welcome relief from all those big fat books calling us from our bucket lists.
I find literary journals such as Tin House and Conjunctions both introduce me to new and often exciting authors, but they also provide a less demanding effort on my part, if only in that such journals generally contain shorter pieces and excerpts. This allows the little gray cells to rejuvenate while still being jiggled around a bit.
I find this especially important in the winter months when I might not be able to run around in the sun to restore my batteries (actually, I don’t run around anywhere nowadays … my best exercise comes from a rousing coughing binge).
Here is what the editor says about the #70 issue of Tin House:
As I am writing these words before the election, I do not know if the United States has elected a madman who has the potential to scorch all life from our planet. What possible value can art and story and poetry have in the face of such pending insanity? Everything.
Jo Ann Beard’s harrowing story “The Tomb of Wrestling,” brutal and beautiful, about a woman facing an intruder in her rural home, contains enough life and heart to power us through the next ten elections. Jim Shepard takes our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, specifically our decaying rails, and makes art from the raw material. Thank you Jim and Jo Ann and all of the storytellers. And thank you to the poets at this time, at all times. Walt Whitman, in Song of Myself, wrote, “I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable; I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” Thank you, Rae Armantrout, Chaim ben Avram, Shayla Lawson, Ruth Madievsky, David Tomas Martinez, Miller Oberman, Tommy Pico, Christopher Soto, Gerald Stern for your untamableness, your irreducibility, your mysteries.
We hope that the barbaric yawps contained within these pages reflect our times and are also timeless, that they capture what it is to be alive now, and, for those of you reading in the future, that the words resonate with you as well.
—Rob Spillman, Editor
Here is a quick view of the contents of the issue:
- Fiction: Jo Ann Beard, Antonya Nelson, Jim Shepard, Michael Andreasen, Rebecca Makkai
- Poetry: Rae Armantrout, Ruth Madievsky, David Tomas Martinez, Shayla Lawson, Tommy Pico, Gerald Stern, Christopher Soto, Miller Oberman, Chaim Ben Avram
- Interview: Mark Leyner
- Lost & Found: Sam Lipsyte, Julia Cooke, Steve Almond, Jess Pane, Teow Lim Goh