Join Us to Celebrate AGNI 88!

JOIN US! Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

Join us to celebrate (3)Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave, Boston (Green Line B, Pleasant St.)

AGNI celebrates its EIGHTY-EIGHTH issue with readings by:

  • Maisy Card: Jamaican-born author of “The True Death of Abel Paisley” (AGNI Online)
  • George Scialabba“One of America’s best all-round intellects” (James Wood); author of the new essay collection Slouching toward Utopia
  • Willa CarrollAuthor of the new poetry collection Nerve Chorus
  • Ira Sadoff: Author of eight poetry collections and The Ira Sadoff Reader

Plus a performance of words-to-music by harpist/vocalist & composer Noelle Micarelli. Our release party follows. We’d love to see you there!



Card, deNiord, and Lavers: New Work up at AGNI!

We’ve got great work up on the main AGNI website—a story by Maisy Card, and poems by Chard deNiord and Michael Lavers. Check it all out!


AGNI MC“Let’s say that you are a 69-year-old Jamaican man called Stanford, or Stan for short, who once faked your own death. You have never used those words to describe what you did before. At the time you’d thought of it as seizing an opportunity placed before you by God, but today you have gathered all of your female descendants in one house, even the daughter who has thought you dead all these years, and decided that today is the day that you will tell them the truth: You have spent the last twenty years of your second life living in a brownstone in Harlem, running a West-Indian grocery store.”

from the story “The True Death of Abel Paisley” by Maisy Card



AGNI cd“He was already flying with invisible wings
in his chair, staring ahead as I wheeled him
into the hall.”

from the poem “The Lake” by Chard deNiord





AGNI ML“One hardware warehouse, one mink farm
gagging the clouds, one curling rink, one park,
its kept swan floating like a plastic bag.
What could be simpler?”

from the poem “Field Work” by Michael Lavers




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A Lucie Brock-Broido Eulogy on the AGNI Site

“No one knew better the stuff that we and dreams are made on than Lucie, who was one of the only people I know able to bend the space-time continuum to her will.”
Askold Melnyczuk

As most of the literary world knows by now, poet Lucie Brock-Broido, our friend and longtime contributing editor, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, March 6th. Six days later AGNI founding editor Askold Melnyczuk delivered a eulogy that you can find on our main website here. And you can see what Lucie published in AGNI here.

AGNI Monkey

Find AGNI at AWP!

The annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference is this week in Tampa, Florida—will you be there? AGNI will be. Here’s where you can find us:

Throughout the conference:

Find us in the conference bookfair at table T526. We’ll have current and past issues available for sale, and would love to chat!

Thursday, March 8th

9:00-10:15am (Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor): AGNI Social Media Editor Rachel Mennies will be a panelist in “Beyond Queues and Fees: Poetry Books Outside the Contest Model.”

7:30-10:30pm (Jackson’s Bistro, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, a short walk from the convention center): Joint reading by AGNI, 32 Poems, Adroit, Denver Quarterly, and Quarterly West, featuring AGNI Poetry Editor Sumita Chakraborty, plus Hadara Bar-Nadav, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Paisley Rekdal, and Kai Carlson-Wee.

Friday, March 9th

10:00am-12:00pm (Bookfair, Orison Books table, T540): AGNI Blog Editor David Ebenbach will be signing his novel Miss Portland.

4:30pm (Tampa Convention Center, 4th Floor, Room 36): AGNI Blog Editor David Ebenbach reads as part of a 32 Poems/Rock and Sling/WordFarm/Orison Books co-reading.

Saturday, March 10th

1:30pm-2:45pm: You have two choices!

(Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor): AGNI Poetry Editor Sumita Chakraborty will be moderating and speaking on the panel “Into the Expanse: Reinventing the Contemporary Long Poem,” also featuring Robin Beth Schaer (co-organizer), Lindsay Garbutt, Marianne Boruch, and Deborah Landau.

(Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor) AGNI Social Media Editor Rachel Mennies will be a panelist in “Why [Not] Say What Happened?: On Writing Confessional Poetry.”

4:30-5:45pm (Room 15, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor) AGNI Blog Editor David Ebenbach is moderating and speaking on the panel “Balancing Act: Neutrality in the Classroom?” also featuring Ru Freeman, Edward Helfers, Holly Karapetkova, and Sarah Trembath.

By the way, as a special for AWP, we’re partnering with Ploughshares, the Harvard Review, and the New England Review to offer a special subscription deal—subscribe to four New England-based journals (including us and out partners) for one discounted price, 30% off the cover price! Check it out here!

We hope to see you in Tampa!

AGNI Monkey

McAuliffe, Smith, and Balcewicz: New Work up at AGNI!

We’ve got great work up on the main AGNI website—an essay by Shena McAuliffe, and poetry by Bruce Smith and Marta Balcewicz. Check it all out!


AGNI SM“It happened on a Saturday night. A guy in a ski mask burst into the shop, but the owner was quick and shot him lickety-split. The robber crumpled on the front steps. The owner sat next to him and pulled him onto his lap, and the man died there, lying across Mercurio’s lap like Jesus in the Pietà.”

from the essay “Pietà: Richmond, Indiana” by Shena McAuliffe



AGNI BS“Events bent me.
I took the arrow of accuracy in my eye. ”

from the poem “Concussion Protocol” by Bruce Smith





AGNI MB“My mother’s apartment
is the size of a chessboard
she sleeps with a rook and a Gypsy.”

from the poem “Natasha Writes Back” by Marta Balcewicz




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Top Five: Our Most-Read Blog Posts of 2017

Happy New Year! As we look back on 2017, we thought we’d revisit the posts on the blog that have drawn the most readers. Check them out if you haven’t read them yet!

#5: Poetry Is Dissent
by Richard Hoffman

AGNI Hoffman
“If, as poets, we do not fear the misrepresentation of the world, if we do not guard against it, work against it when hunched over the page, then what are we doing? What is being accomplished, and whom does it serve?”


#4: Against “Unlikeable”: On the Occasion of What Happened
by Courtney Sender

“What if we decided that the ways and things that women want—an elected office, a partner, a platform to tell her own story as she sees it—were not unlikeable at all, but simply human, worthy of serious consideration in our art and our politics. What if we decided that that most fundamental desire, to tell our story, were not so unlikeable in a woman as to stir the heated debate surrounding Hillary Clinton’s very act of publishing a book.”


#3: Idling on the Highway
by Kelly Cherry


“What I am saying is that I miss the long drawl of the storyteller. Thomas Mann layered his novels with questions and answers that make us think. I just finished reading Neil Jordan’s book Shade, and though I have long loved his work, Shade, narrated by a dead woman, took my breath away: the lush sentences, the lengthy conversations, the Irish rhythms: nothing rushed, nothing left out, time to absorb every interesting, often captivating, detail. Or remember Joyce Cary: his novels are hilarious and allow us time to laugh to our hearts’ content. Funny doesn’t have to be fast.”


#2: On Running a Democracy Without Reading
by Kelly Cherry

“Why do I think his lack of interest in reading is crucial? Not only because books inform us, though I am glad they do. Not only because books entertain us, though I am glad they do. Not only because books remind us of the beauty and power of writing, though I am glad they do. Books also teach us how to be human. They finely and delicately and forcefully demonstrate for us thoughts we have never thought or only barely thought. They teach us compassion and the need for it, illustrating the excitement of observation, the heartbreak and perpetual grief that occurs in every life, the gorgeous peace of serenity, the exhilaration of discovery. Yes, these experiences happen in people’s lives, and some people manage them and some don’t; but books instruct us in the details, the particularities of events, and thereby strengthen our understanding of love and loss, of being one and multiple, of feeling. They ready us for life and allow us to think on it.”


and…our most-read post of the year:

#1: Things Ayurvedic Doctors Have Told Me
by Shahnaz Habib

“When pessimism becomes the new optimism, you stop expecting life to treat you like a server you will be tipping heavily at the end of the meal. Instead of asking ‘why me?,’ you start asking ‘why not me?’ You feel the softness of the ground underneath; you notice that the river of melancholy is always flowing nearby.”

Thanks, everyone, for a great year of conversation, and we’ll see you in 2018!

AGNI Monkey