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A “workshop of literature, where wonderful, audacious and strange things come into being.” —Bernhard Schlink, author of The Reader Lauded by PEN America as one of the world’s “most significant literary journals,” AGNI has brought its readers the best national and international writing from established and emerging writers for forty years. Housed at Boston University and edited since 2002 by essayist and literary critic Sven Birkerts, AGNI publishes annually two 240-page issues of fiction, essays, and poetry. At AGNI, we see literature and the arts as part of the broad, ongoing cultural conversation that every society needs to remain vibrant and alive. Our writers and artists hold a mirror up to nature, mankind, and the world; they courageously reflect their age, for better or worse; and their work provokes perceptions and ideas that help us understand and respond to our age. As part of the literary vanguard driving this conversation, AGNI takes pride in jumpstarting the careers of ascendant writers. Ha Jin (1999 National Book Award), Jhumpa Lahiri (2000 Pulitzer Prize), and Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted) are but a few of the many who have appeared in our pages first or early in their careers, alongside such luminaries as Rita Dove, David Foster Wallace, and Sharon Olds. In our history, six AGNI writers have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature: Seamus Heaney (the 1995 laureate), Derek Walcott (1992), Wisława Szymborska (1996), J. M. G. Le Clezio (2008), Tomas Tranströmer (2011), and Patrick Modiano (2014), whom AGNI was the first to publish in English. Most issues include work from a sundry assortment of cultures and languages; we have published translations from more than twenty languages, including Urdu, Latvian, and Ancient Greek. As Heaney himself once described AGNI, “The auguries couldn’t be better for now and times to come: this is a cracker of a magazine, a reader’s delight, a standard achieved, a balance held between service to new writers and fidelity to what’s what in writing itself.”
What we leave behind us, and how we face the new. Art and cover by Paul Katz vividly embody the impulse to recast materials and signs. Stories by Stephen Dixon, Victoria Lancelotta, and Shahriar Mandanipour look at how we preserve and renew, while reflective essays by Emilia Phillips, Laura Gill, and Michael Stein resonate with poems of loss and remembrance by Gail Mazur, Cate Lycurgus, Rick Bursky and many others.