Editors’ Note

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Penumbra. It is with pleasure and pride that we roll out what we hope will be a significant contribution to scholarship in the twenty-first century.

A Poetic Politics of Place: Desire and Dwelling in the Works of Jimmy Santiago Baca and Terry Tempest Williams

Jimmy Santiago Baca and Terry Tempest Williams exemplify in their poems and prose the desire of humans to merge with the natural world that they inhabit. Place gets made, in part, through poetic response, a response of the body, mind, and heart to environment. It is important that each of these writers chooses to experience [...]

Darkness Denied: An Exploration of the Predilection for Light

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it - The Gospel According to John 1:5 (p. 713). The light from above made the darkness still darker; but the lumen naturae is the light of the darkness itself, which illuminates its own darkness, and this light the darkness comprehends. Therefore [...]

Truth in Literature: A Comparative Perspective

It might seem hopelessly quaint, even naїve, to write about truth in literature in an age when, at least in the realm of theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism have accustomed us to be skeptical of truth. While both related (or at least often linked) theories are still prevalent, this article will argue that they have never [...]

“The Ruse of Analogy”: Blackness in Asian American and Disability Studies

Min Hyoung Song recently highlighted a disavowed yet structurally inevitable entanglement between blackness and Asian Americans in U.S. civil society when he noted that Asian Americans are becoming “less of a model whose successes specifically berate blacks and other racial minorities for their lack of resolve and more a kind of, for lack of a [...]

An Interview with Myriam J.A. Chancy

Myriam J.A. Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian writer born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and subsequently raised there and in Canada. After obtaining her BA in English/Philosophy (with Honors), from the University of Manitoba (1989) and her MA in English Literature from Dalhousie University (1990), she completed her PhD in English at the University of Iowa (1994). In [...]

Ravishing Scheme

1 no singing pours out onto the sidewalk stood our dream, no cowardly wind crests, no waiting for a nod to leave, no bright sun beckons and no hollow moon howls and we are not moving on but engulfed by out loneliness as the bus stops 2 when every past address and passage is a [...]

Fourth of July at Toscano

From our table by the window we watch a constant procession of leashed Poodles, Collies, Corgis and mutts on Charles Street’s cracked brick sidewalk, one Collie wears a flag tucked into its star-studded collar and a fat man in baggy shorts wears a red, white and blue USA top hat, our waitress recites house specials [...]

Excerpt from The Loneliness of Angels

January 1958, Port-au-PrinceBruises, scrapes, smears of pressed dust dusky against the white of her sleeping robe. There isn’t any way to hide. Not any more. The city is on fire. Rose is standing in the middle of the flames. Under cover of night, they find her in the kitchen. They come in their bedclothes and [...]

A Shiny Pink Bra

(From the Bronx Stories collection) I wanted that new shiny pink bra with the bow in the center, even though I was too young to need one. It would be years before I could wear it but I wanted it mostly because it was new. Most everything I wore as a child was ropa vieja, [...]

Blind Justice