An Editors’ Note

An Editors’ Note

As we began to shape this second issue from our layovers in Johannesburg, Brooklyn, and Bangkok, the concept of translation continued to drift in and out of our correspondence with each other and with the writers and artists whose work appears in these pages. Maybe we harbor some kind of trust in the idea of translation, however abstract? Maybe it is the natural, inclusive, and expansive process that we admire?

Or maybe it’s the transformations themselves, the mutations from one language into the next and back? Maybe we are ever-taken by those moments of re-creation which gently reverse–without demand or law–our sense that the world should express itself in our terms?

Who knows. But if you are familiar with Tongue, you know that we resist the religion of having answers; we revel, instead, in poems and art at ease with a kind of ambivalent vulnerability. Here, we celebrate the Creoles that emerge from within the exquisite betweens: those brackish locales where Ciaran Berry’s spooky actions meet Gemma Gorga’s illuminated stone-homes on the heaths where Bianca Stone’s hiccups-turned-Antigones wander through Malena Mörling’s aviaries where Luisa A. Igloria’s gentle Mexican Free-tailed bats bat around in Grigori Dashevsky’s Homeric skies on the updrafts of Valzhyna Mort’s sneer, and where we all meet Chirikuré Chirikuré’s shape-shifting English turned Shona songs, there in the floral crooks of Radio Sebastian’s AM frequencies.

Like translation, Tongue is no static thing—and like a Lakota winter count, this issue serves as a record of places visited in our reading, our conversations, our shared seeking. Read more.

About Tongue

Tongue is an assemblage of original poetry, essays, and images that aspires to challenge comfortable gestures and distinctions. It embraces translations, polyphonic exchanges across all conceivable borders. Learn more.

New & Featured Media

2014 Best American Poetry & 2013 Best of the Net Winners
We are pleased to announce that many recent contributors to Tongue have been chosen for inclusion in two major anthologies of notable poetry this year. Read more.

A reading & reception for Antjie Krog’s Skinned: Selected Poems
Hosted by Seven Stories Press, The American Reader, and Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, the reception for Antjie Krog's Skinned: Selected Poems took place in NYC, on 18 April 2013. Read more.

Remembering Chinua Achebe
Struck by the death of Chinua Achebe on 21 March 2013, the editors of Tongue invited a number of writers to celebrate the seismic influence of his life and work. What we gather here are links to this ongoing, ever-growing series of reflections at Marginalia, our Tumblr. Read more.

More “False Starts” from Antigonick
At the heart of Issue Two is a portfolio of "False Starts" by Bianca Stone. These process-sketches from her collaboration with Anne Carson and Robert Currie are a fascinating look at the experiments that gave rise to the visual identity of Antigonick . We're honored to help give new life to a few more of these remarkable outtakes. Read more.

Tongue at AWP 2013, Boston
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs is holding its annual conference in Boston on 6-9 March, 2013. Poets, translators, and artists who have been a integral part of Tongue’s first two issues will be reading, speaking, and performing across all four days at panels and performances both on-site and off-site. Here’s where we’ll be. Read more.

Remembering Jack Gilbert
A few days after Jack Gilbert's passing on 13 November 2012, the editors of Tongue invited a number of poets to reflect on Gilbert's life and work. For just over a week, we collected this beautiful series of short essays, celebrations, and remembrances. Read more.

Dante Micheaux at Poets House
On 19 October 2012, Issue Two translator Dante Micheaux joined Yusef Komunyakaa, Suji Kim, and Sonia Mukherji at Poets House for I HAD THOUGHT MYSELF A KANGAROO, a reading to honor the work of Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar. Read more.

Valzhyna Mort & Bianca Stone reading at the 2nd Annual New York Poetry Festival
Organized by the Poetry Society of New York, the 2nd Annual New York Poetry Festival took place at the heart of Governor's Island. Issue Two contributors Valzhyna Mort & Bianca Stone were among the featured poets. Read more.