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A Public Space

No. 18

Martha Cooley on the Costa Concordia; Brett Fletcher Lauer on how to write a love letter; Kate Walbert's radical feminists; Andrea Barrett's investigators; stories by Bonnie Nadzam and Kevin Wilson; Aaron Crippen translates Du Fu; poems by Rae Armantrout, Terrance Hayes, Joanna Klink, and others; and introducing Magdaléna Platzová.

Table of Contents



Radical Feminists

Beatrice Wells is on her way to Bryant Park with her boys, ice-skating, Saturday afternoon, when she bumps, literally, into Jonathan Fontaine, his hair, though thinner, still as his name would suggest, puffed, coiffed, as if Jonathan Fontaine has just stepped out of a Dr. Seuss story or a zany French farce.

Kate Walbert



The First Belief

William and Samuel Luce were national heroes.

Bonnie Nadzam



Two Poems

We are learning to control our thoughts / to set obtrusive thoughts aside.

Rae Armantrout



Two Poems

I brought what I knew about the world to my daily life / and it failed me.

Joanna Klink



Poem for John Locke

A sound mind in a sound body is a short / but full description of a happy state in this world.

Adam Fitzgerald



Two Poems

Cypress is bitter but you can eat it.

Du Fu



Two Poems

Sometimes I want a built-in scalp / that looks and feels like skin.

Terrance Hayes



Two Poems

Majesty, when you start lobbing statistics, / I feel a little like an understudy.

Michael Morse




A girl in Vienna, 1914.

Magdaléna Platzová



A Supposed Person

Before I actually wrote a poem, I pretended to write poetry.

Brett Fletcher Lauer



A Signal to the Faithful

The first time Edwin passed out during mass, he could not determine whether the act made him more or less holy.

Kevin Wilson



The Investigators

Early that June, Constantine Boyd left Detroit with his usual trunk but got on a train headed east instead of west.

Andrea Barrett



The Island and the Boat

Pine needles, dense underfoot.

Martha Cooley

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