From The Bare Life Review—the only publication whose sole mission is to publish the work of immigrant and refugee writers—comes this special climate-themed volume, featuring fourteen original works of poetry and prose by writers from more than ten distinct nations. Punctuated by a series of photographs from Shaktoolik, Alaska, an Inupiaq village whose largely Indigenous population ranks as one of the world’s most imperiled by climate change, This Peculiar Radiant Landscape considers the crisis’s impact on human migration—not only in the so-called developing world, but in regions where an illusion of stability has long presided—charting both the vast extent of its reach and its troubled intersection with the legacy of colonialism.
In this volume: Joan Naviyuk Kane pays homage to Shaktoolik with a poem equal parts elegy and ode; Omar El Akkad maps the disturbing ethics and complex economy obscured, in a cold future, by the warmth of a blanket; Heidi Kaloustian draws upon history, art, and our present crises to paint a vivid, Borgesian nightmare; and Olga Zilberbourg channels a single mother who, nursing new life, cannot escape an old sense that “the planet… must be as tired of humans as we are of ourselves.”
Taken together, these fourteen pieces constitute an impassioned missive to a damaged world—to this peculiar, radiant landscape—and further illustrate the vitality of world literature in grappling with the urgent problems of our time.
Omar El Akkad
Abbigail N. Rosewood
Casey A. Williams
Joan Naviyuk Kane
The Bare Life Review was founded in 2017 as the only literary journal devoted entirely to the work of immigrant and refugee writers. Led by Editor-in-Chief Nyuol Lueth Tong (2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree; editor of There Is a Country: New Fiction from the New Nation of South Sudan and McSweeney’s 52: In Their Faces, a Landmark), its staff of immigrant editors includes the authors Maria Kuznetsova (Something Unbelievable and Oksana, Behave!), and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (House of Stone). The first three volumes of The Bare Life Review garnered recognition from Best American Essays 2020, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. The Bare Life Review is a member of Intersection for the Arts, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization.
Notable Special Issue – Best American Essays 2020, edited by André Aciman
“…always engaging…” – Kwame Dawes for American Life in Poetry
“The Bare Life Review has a keen understanding of literary art [as] a necessary space for reacting to global trauma.” -- Scott Tschirhart for Portland Review
“[The Bare Life Review’s] very existence point[s] to the emergent urgency of creating a space for migrant writing. More importantly, the journal format proves to be well-suited for the task. Bare Life’s stories, essays and poems are able to explore migrant narrative collectively, in the end producing a richer and more nuanced picture of this narrative...” -- Kris Bartkus for Full Stop