News and Events
The Launch of AGNI 90
On Tuesday, October 29th, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 90 with Erin O’Luanaigh, Lavinia Liang, Colin Channer, and Michelle Hoover, plus a musical performance by Ruby Rose Fox. Our release party follows. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Free and open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For accessibility, please contact us.
Visit us at AWP!
AGNI editors will be on hand at the AWP conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 4–7, 2020. We hope you’ll stop at our Bookfair table—T1229.
Past Events, 2019
The Launch of AGNI 89
On Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 89 with Jonathan Escoffery, Julia Shipley, Samuel Kọ́láwọ́lé, and Kelle Groom, plus a musical interlude by local songwriter Zenobia. Our release party follows. Note the different location! Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, 121 Bay State Road, Boston. Free and open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For accessibility, please contact us.
Visit us at AWP!
AGNI editors will be on hand at the AWP conference in Portland, March 27–30, 2019. We hope you’ll stop at our Bookfair table—T7066.
An Omnibus Off-site Poetry Reading at AWP Portland
On Thursday, March 28, 2019, from 7:00–10:00 p.m., AGNI joins 32 Poems, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, and Quarterly West for a poetry extravaganza. AGNI’s lineup features Maggie Smith, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Edgar Kunz, William Archila, and Natalie Shapero! Join us at The Slide Inn, 2348 SE Ankeny Street, Portland. Open to the public—and free, including appetizers and complimentary-drink tickets while they last.
The Launch of AGNI 88
On Tuesday, October 30th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 88 with Maisy Card, George Scialabba, Willa Carroll, and Ira Sadoff, plus a dulcimer interlude by local singer-songwriter Noelle Micarelli. Our release party follows. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Free and open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For accessibility concerns, please contact us.
Voices from the Edge of Europe: A Reading and Conversation with Albanian-born Writers Ani Gjika and Gazmend Kapllani
On Thursday, April 19th, at 6:00 p.m., AGNI, along with the Center for the Study of Europe and the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking, hosts poet and translator Ani Gjika, author of the collection Bread on Running Waters and translator of Luljeta Llleshanaku’s Negative Space, and poet, journalist, and fiction writer Gazmend Kapllani, author of several novels, including A Short Border Handbook. A reception follows. Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, 121 Bay State Road, 1st floor. Free and open to the public.
The Launch of AGNI 87
On Monday, April 23th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 87 with Krysten Hill, Bruce Willard, Kathleen Hill, and Michael Stein, plus a musical interlude by local singer-songwriter Audrey Harrer. Our release party follows. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Free and open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For accessibility concerns, please contact us.
Borders Now!: A Reading and Conversation with Bosnian Novelist Faruk Šehić and Translator Mirza Purić
On Tuesday, April 24th, at 6:00 p.m., AGNI, along with the Center for the Study of Europe and the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking, hosts novelist Faruk Šehić, winner of the EU Prize for Literature and the Meša Selimović prize for the best novel published in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia, and Mirza Purić, translator, with Ellen Elias-Bursac, of Miljenko Jergovic’s story collection Inshallah, Madonna, Inshallah. The conversation will be led by Stacy Mattingly. A reception follows. Boston University Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s Street, 9th floor. Free and open to the public.
An Omnibus Off-site Poetry Reading at AWP Tampa
On Thursday, March 8, 2018, from 7:30–10:30 p.m., AGNI joins 32 Poems, Adroit, Denver Quarterly, and Quarterly West for a must-see, must-hear poetry extravaganza. AGNI’s lineup features Hadara Bar-Nadav, Kai Carlson-Wee, Sumita Chakraborty, Cortney Lamar Charleston, and Paisley Rekdal. Join us at Jackson’s Bistro, 601 S. Harbour Island Boulevard, Tampa. Open to the public—and free, including appetizers and complimentary-drink tickets while they last.
An AGNI Reading in the Roundtable Series
On Monday, November 6th, at 7:00 p.m., Porter Square Books hosts AGNI for a reading by Natalie Shapero, Brian Jerrold Koester, and Valerie Duff. During the year, the Roundtable series features AGNI, Post Road, Salamander, Redivider, and Harvard Review. Porter Square Shopping Center, 25 White St., Cambridge. Free and open to the public.
The Launch of AGNI 86
On Tuesday, October 24th, 2017, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 86 with Liza Ward, Qais Akbar Omar, Perri Klass, and Richard D’Abate, plus a musical interlude by local singer-songwriter Nuda Veritas. Our release party follows. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Free and open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For accessibility concerns, please contact us.
A Celebration of AGNI at Newtonville Books
On Thursday, September 7th, at 7:00 p.m., the beloved independent bookstore hosts a reading by three members of AGNI’s staff: poetry editor Sumita Chakraborty, one of Poetry’s new Lilly and Rosenberg Fellows; fiction editor Mary O’Donoghue, longlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award; and blog editor David Ebenbach, who will read from his new novel Miss Portland. Newtonville Books, 10 Langley Road, Newton Center, Massachusetts. Free and open to the public.
The Launch of AGNI 85
On Monday, April 24th, 2017, at 7:00 p.m., AGNI launches issue 85 with readings by Wen Stephenson, Kim Adrian, Noah Warren, and Courtney Sender, with a musical interlude by singer-songwriter Brian King of What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?. Our release party follows. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Free and open to the public. [download our flyer]
Lusophone Voices: A Reading and Conversation with Portuguese Poet Rosa Alice Blanco
On Wednesday, April 19th, at 6:00 p.m., AGNI, along with the Center for the Study of Europe and Goethe-Institut Boston, hosts poet Rosa Alice Blanco, author of eleven collections and winner of the Espiral Maior Poetry Prize for best collection in Brazil, Portugal, Angola, and Galicia, for a conversation with her translator Alexis Levitan. A reception follows. Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, 121 Bay State Road, 1st floor. Free and open to the public.
Irish Voices: A Reading and Conversation with Irish Poet Harry Clifton
On Tuesday, April 18th, at 6:00 p.m., AGNI, along with the Center for the Study of Europe and Goethe-Institut Boston, presents poet Harry Clifton, author of the collection Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994–2004 (2007), which won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. Moderated by Meg Tyler. A reception follows. Boston University Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s Street, 9th floor. Free and open to the public.
A Q&A with Boston Lit Mag Editors in the Roundtable Series
On Monday, April 3rd, at 7:00 p.m., editors from AGNI, Harvard Review, Post Road, Redivider, Salamander, and other local journals will answer questions and talk about their magazines. Moderated by Jenn Scheck-Kahn of Journal of the Month. Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, 25 White St., Cambridge. Free and open to the public.
An Off-site Poetry Reading at AWP Washington
On Thursday, February 9, at 8:00 p.m., AGNI joins Pleiades, American Literary Review, Boulevard, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, and PoemoftheWeek.org for a reading alongside this year’s AWP conference. Matt Donovan represents AGNI in a lineup that also includes Chen Chen, Alice Elliott Dark, David Keplinger, Shara McCallum, Gregory Pardlo, Caitlin Pryor, Maggie Smith, and Ryo Yamaguchi. Join us at Bayou, 2519 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC. Free and open to the public.
In part two of our masthead announcement, we’re excited to say the full roster has been assembled! We’ve brought on three assistant poetry editors—Jenny George, Esteban Rodríguez, and Jessica Q. Stark—and three assistant fiction editors: Ben Black, Amber Caron, and Ariel Courage. A warm welcome to them, and to our readers: stay tuned . . . !
We’re proud to announce big changes to the AGNI masthead! Sven Birkerts and William Pierce, who’ve collaborated here for fifteen years, will now work side by side as co-editors. Then, centrally, six new genre editors have accepted invitations to join the magazine. Shuchi Saraswat comes on as nonfiction editor, alongside Jennifer Alise Drew, who has been instrumental at AGNI since 2003. Julia Brown and Emma Copley Eisenberg join as fiction editors, alongside Mary O’Donoghue, who switched in 2010 from publishing her work here to helping shape the magazine’s sensibility. And three new poetry editors further reorder the AGNI landscape: Paula Bohince, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, and Ruben Quesada.
We’re excited to re-open our reviewing doors under the stewardship of Reviews Editor Rachel Mennies. We’re looking for roughly 1,500-to-3,000-word review essays that lift us to your singular inquiry-driven vantage.
As part of AGNI’s ongoing mission of publishing the most responsive and engaging work of our time, we are expanding and diversifying our editorial team, aiming to widen the journal’s masthead and add new perspectives. In the current phase (deadline August 14, 2019), we plan to bring on two new fiction editors, one new nonfiction editor, and three new poetry editors. See our call for applications.
Just days past the summer solstice, we have major changes to report! First, after thirteen years of direct editorial involvement—from the time she was a sophomore at Wellesley and a summer intern here—our poetry editor Sumita Chakraborty is stepping down as she becomes Helen Zell Visiting Professor of Poetry at University of Michigan. We’re pleased she’s staying with us as a contributing editor. David Ebenbach, who single-handedly founded the AGNI blog in 2015, is handing off his creation after four years of building it into a central part of our web presence. We are more than grateful for his energy and discernment. The hand-off goes to two AGNI contributors, Courtney Sender and Grace Singh Smith, who will pick up where David left off—they take over as joint blog editors starting August 1st. Finally, we’re delighted that Rachel Mennies, a longtime member of our team, will re-assume the position of reviews editor and begin to revive AGNI’s earlier commitment to powerfully engaged, long-form reviewing.
On May 31st, Literary Hub will feature the first four sections of Samuel Kọ́láwọ́lé’s story “Sweet sweet strawberry taste” from AGNI 89.
On December 10th, Literary Hub will feature Faruk Šehić’s story “Greta,” translated by Mirza Purić, from AGNI 88.
We’re proud to be launching the new AGNI Online, a fully custom website containing thousands of pages of the best literary writing in English. Visit our About page to get some tips on how to use the new site!
On May 26th, Poetry Daily will feature Martin Edmunds’s poem “Perfect Match” from AGNI 87.
Ha Jin has joined AGNI’s Advisory Board. His writing first appeared in AGNI when he was a graduate student at Brandeis University. He has since published eight novels, six collections of poetry, four short story collections, and one book of essays, and has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Hemingway, the Flannery O’Connor Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner twice. We’re honored to formalize an already strong connection.
Jung Hae Chae’s essay “The Great Meal” (AGNI 86) has won a Pushcart Prize and will appear in the 2019 anthology.
On May 14th, Literary Hub will feature Melanie Rae Thon’s story “Lover :” from AGNI 87.
On November 22nd, Poetry Daily will feature David Wojahn’s poem “Still Life: Stevens’s Wallet on a Key West Hotel Dresser” (AGNI 86) and, as its prose feature for the week of December 18, Sven Birkerts’s introduction to AGNI 86, “Derek Walcott at BU: A Sorting.”
On November 22nd, Literary Hub will feature Sven Birkerts’s introduction to AGNI 86, “Derek Walcott at BU: A Sorting.”
Carmen Maria Machado is a finalist for the National Book Award for her collection The Body and Other Parties! Her story “California Statutes Concerning Defrauding an Innkeeper” appeared in AGNI 79.
Philip Fried’s “The Quantum Mechanics of Everyday Life” (AGNI 85) is featured at Verse Daily.
Andres Rojas’s poem “From the Lost Letters to Matias Perez, Aeronaut” (AGNI 85) was selected for inclusion in The Best New Poets 2017.
Brian Morton’s story “Tolstoy and God” (AGNI 84) and Steve Stern’s story “The Plate-Spinner” (AGNI 83) have won Pushcart Prizes and appear in the 2017 anthology. This year’s edition gives Special Mention to James Cummins’s poem “Ode to a Mockingbird” (AGNI 83) and three AGNI stories: Emma Duffy-Comparone’s “Sacrifice” (AGNI 84), Tamas Dobozy’s “Four by Kline Caro” (AGNI 84), and Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s “The Children of New Orleans” (AGNI 83).
On May 25th, Poetry Daily featured Kathleen Winter’s “Parthenon Marbles” from AGNI 85.
On May 11th our partner Literary Hub will reprint Qais Akbar Omar’s essay “In the Ring,” which appears in the new spring issue, AGNI 85.
We’re proud to announce that E. C. Osondu is our newest contributing editor, joining the likes of Dana Levin, Lia Purpura, and Tom Sleigh. E. C.’s first and second published stories appeared in AGNI in 2006. Three years later he won the Caine Prize for African Writing. He has gone on to publish the collection Voice of America and the novel This House Is Not for Sale, and in 2010 he coedited, with William Pierce, the AGNI Portfolio of African Fiction.
On March 22nd, our founder, Askold Melnyczuk, joined a conversation on the radio show On Point about the life and poetry of his friend, the late Derek Walcott.
Senior editor William Pierce talked about the magazine on the 167th episode of The How The Why, a half-hour podcast about “the evolution of the literary arts.”
Natasha Trethewey has chosen Cyrus Cassells’s poem “Elegy with a Gold Cradle” (AGNI 83) for The Best American Poetry 2017.
On November 23rd, Poetry Daily featured Steve Kronen’s “Maker of Bowls” from AGNI 84, and on December 7th, Joseph J. Capista’s “The Telescope” from the same issue.
Stephen Kessler has won the 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award for Luis Cernuda’s Forbidden Pleasures: New Selected Poems (Black Widow Press). The collection includes “The Family,” first published in AGNI 79.
Heather Abel’s story “Desire and Other Isms” (AGNI 82) is cited as distinguished in The Best American Short Stories 2016.
Shruti Swamy’s story “A Simple Composition” (AGNI 81) has won an O. Henry Prize and will be reprinted in the 2016 anthology The O. Henry Prize Stories.
On May 30th, AGNI author and former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser featured Arden Levine’s poem “Offering” (AGNI Online) in his newspaper and online column “American Life in Poetry.”
On May 17th, Three Quarks Daily featured Tyler Mills’s blog post “Designing Time: The Idea of Plot in the Lyric Essay.”
On May 15th, Poetry Daily featured Kara van de Graaf’s “The Doubles” from AGNI 83.
Congratulations to Peter Balakian, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry! The winning collection, Ozone Journal, includes two poems first published in AGNI, “Near the Border” and “Slum Drummers.” Balakian’s work has appeared in the magazine more than a dozen times, starting in 1977.
On the last Thursday in April, the Bay Area bookstore Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts will feature Edgar Kunz’s “Window Washers” (AGNI 81) in its National Poem in Your Pocket Day celebration. A warm thanks to Mrs. Dalloway’s!
J. D. Daniels, who published work appeared in AGNI, has won the prestigious Whiting Award, given to “emerging writers of exceptional talent and promise.”
Kirun Kapur’s poem “Girls Girls Girls” (AGNI Online) has been selected for the 2015 Best of the Net anthology!
A new interview by our Sumita Chakraborty at LARB shows sides of AGNI poet Melissa Green that no one else has captured, with a sound and shape rare for author interviews. Five stars!
On November 26th, Poetry Daily will feature Kathleen Graber’s “New Year” from AGNI 82.
Megan Mayhew Bergman’s story “Romaine Remains” (AGNI 79) is cited as distinguished in The Best American Short Stories 2015. In The Best American Essays 2015, K. E. Duffin’s “Castle Hill” (AGNI 80) and Carol Ann Davis’s “On Practice, School Buses, Hummingbirds, Rumi, and Being Led” (AGNI 79) are cited as notable.
On September 1st, David Ebenbach became the founder, curator, and primum mobile of the AGNI blog. The conversation is just beginning.
Apogee has reprinted an excerpt from Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s AGNI Online essay “Coming of Age in the Time of the Hoodie.”
On May 18th, Poetry Daily will feature Noah Warren’s “Automatic Pool Cleaner” from AGNI 81, and Verse Daily will feature Bern Mulvey’s “Cape Air” from AGNI Online.
On May 12th, Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s AGNI Online essay “Coming of Age in the Time of the Hoodie” was featured in Lithub Daily. In April, Literary Hub reprinted Jennifer S. Cheng’s essay “Hikimomori: Salt Constellations” (AGNI 81).
We’re thrilled to welcome Irish story writer and novelist Mary O’Donoghue as fiction editor, where she joins William Giraldi. After publishing three of O’Donoghue’s stories from 2004 to 2009, we invited her to join the staff as a reader. Now she will play a bigger, much-deserved role in guiding the magazine.
Anna Journey’s essay “An Arrangement of Skin” (AGNI 79) is reprinted in the Winter 2014 issue of Utne Reader!
On December 6th, Poetry Daily will feature Mark Kraushaar’s “Matinee” from AGNI 80.
Rebecca Hazelton’s poem “Book of Forget” (AGNI 75) has won a Pushcart Prize and appears in the 2015 anthology. Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s essay “You Gotta Have Heart” (AGNI 77), Paul Christensen’s story “My Beautiful Life” (AGNI 77), and Selena Anderson’s story “Grief Bacon” (AGNI 78) receive Special Mention.
Two recent AGNI essays are cited as notable in The Best American Essays 2014: Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough’s “Europe, Europa” and Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s “You Gotta Have Heart,”both from AGNI 77.
We’re proud to add Patrick Modiano to the list of AGNI writers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize! He joins Seamus Heaney (1995), Derek Walcott (1992), Wisława Szymborska(1996), J. M. G. Le Clezio (2008), and Tomas Tranströmer (2011). AGNI was the first to publish Modiano in English. We’ve also published two other winners of the Nobel during their lifetimes, after they’d won the prize: Odysseas Elytis (1979) and Joseph Brodsky (1987).
On June 4th, Poetry Daily featured Sarah Rose Nordgren’s “Mother, Pressed” from AGNI 79.
Congratulations to AGNI poet Charles Wright, named the next Poet Laureate of the United States!
The Best American Poetry 2014 reprints David Wojahn’s “My Father’s Soul Departing” (AGNI 76).
The Best American Short Stories 2014 cites Craig Davidson’s “Medium Tough” (AGNI 77) in its Distinguished Stories list.