Every year around Christmas time Bahamians are divided by the Junkanoo groups they support. I was born into a family of Valley Boy supporters, but in theory I could support any of the main competing groups—Valley Boys, One Family, Roots, Saxons, The Music Makers or The Prodigal Sons. These groups practice all year for the Boxing Day and New Year competitive parades. Those used to be the only mornings there were Junkanoo parades, but now there are performances called rush outs every week in Marina Village on Paradise Island and routinely throughout the summer at the Fish Fry, a once cultural landmark now overrun by restaurants that sell syrupy-sweet strawberry daiquiris and bland peas n’rice on Fiestaware. I do want to be, nor do I try to be a cultural snob, but sometimes I do wonder if anything can belong to a country that shares and bends its land and people so often for the benefit of others. I wonder at one point does the culture become something else entirely, simply a shadow of its former self.
Mariko Mori’s multifaceted body of work stems from a yet more expansive imagination. Mori strives to show us a glimpse of a world that could have been transmitted from a distant future. Mori showed in London, 14 years ago and her vision aligned with video games, escapist manga culture and the digital aesthetic of an emerging generation. Today her work imagines a world where science and spirituality fuse with biology and technology. We get a rickety draft of future possibilities from an iridescent, alien world.
We are pleased to announce that Michigan Quarterly Review has awarded this year’s trio of literary prizes to Rebecca Makkai, for a finely crafted story about connection and quiet reappraisals, Angie Estes, for two exquisite poems “balancing the omnipresence of death with the fragile pleasures of life,” and Margaret Reges, for her poems’ exuberant physical description.
How hard it’s been, winter. Putting on our hats and coats and long-johns and gloves and scarves and mittens. Paying the heating bill. Slipping on black ice. Trudging to work before the half-hearted sun comes up. Of course, there have been some pleasures (full moons over snow, red wine), but, by March, aren’t we through with all that? Aren’t we ready for something else entirely: some softening, some respite, some real warmth?
“I’m very slow when it comes to taking in content. I’ll find a writer I like, usually someone who is dead because their books are used and cheap, and then I’m very loyal to them, re-reading, searching for more of their work, hijacking their style for a few months or years. In Stockholm there are a few good places to find used books in English. Larry’s Corner, where I have a little office in the back. Alpha Books near the city center and lots of the thrift stores. One nice thing about looking for English books in a foreign country is that you’re forced to read what is there and go outside of your snobby box a bit.”