Empathy, Pain, and Power in Literature: A Conversation with Viet Thanh Nguyen

BY Emily Cordo

The dominant normative tendency is to say literature is unmarked by many things, including politics, and that is the power of ideology in American society, and in American literature, and in American MFA programs, as far as I can tell. And it leaves, in the United States, those marked as international or minority writers in the position of constantly harping on the political. It’s a mutually reinforcing cycle; we’re going to keep on talking about it because we’re in that contradiction.

Sarah Gambito author photo overlaid with the cover of her poetry collection, LOVES YOU.


With Our Mouths Open: An Interview with Sarah Gambito on Food and Lyrical Sweetness

BY Emily Ellison

I feel like we’re in such tumultuous times right now, and we need to uphold the linked roles of artists and audience—so how do we activate each equally, right? I’m less interested in the how the artist performs, where there’s this sort of passivity in the audience—not that that’s not a lovely thing, it’s a lovely thing. But I’m interested in how you get the audience to act towards, in some ways, what it is you’re doing.