Nonfiction | June 19, 2020

In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.

—Thomas Merton

It was past midnight, and the bench I sat on in the small mud-brick airport in Ouargla was hard. It kept me from sleeping. I was in transit in this remote oasis town, waiting until just before sunrise to board the flight to Djanet in the southeastern Algerian Sahara. It was here that I saw Tuareg men for the first time.

Two large draped forms filled the bench across from memen dressed in their traditional indigo caftans with white turbans called cheches wrapped around their heads and draped across their faces so only dark eyes were visible. Tuareg men are sometimes referred to as “blue men” because the indigo dye can stain their skin. The pictures I had seen of Tuareg people didn’t do justice to these two imposing figures, and I watched them doze off. The Berber-speaking Tuaregs of North Africa were known for their camel-caravan journeys across the Sahara. Now they take planes when they need to, and drought has forced them to sell off their herds and crowd into tented camps and oasis towns.

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spring 1984

7.3 (Spring 1984)

Featuring work by Russell Banks, Bruce Beasley, George Bogin, Christopher Buckley, Dino Campana, Rene Char, Fred Chappell, Reed Way Dasenbrock, Glover Davis, Robb Forman Dew, Katherine Estill, Kathy Fagan, Carol Frost, Margo Glantz, Daniel Halpern, Laura Hendrie, Katherine Kane, Hank Lazer, Michael Milburn, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Omar Pound, Pattiann Rogers, Philippe Soupault… as well as an interview with Charles Simic and a special feature on Tennessee Williams.

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fall 1983

7.1 (Fall 1983)

Featuring work by Michael Alley, Christine Balk, Walter Bargen, Robin Behn, Ricardo Castillo, Peter Cooley, Jon Davis, Christine Deavel, Jeff Friedman, Matthew Graham, Stephen Haven, Art Homer, Mark Jarman, Robert L. Jones, Kendra Kopelke, Thomas McAfee, Walter McDonald, James McKean, Michael Mott, Johnathan Penner, Michael Pfeifer, Paula Rankin, David Ray, Nickell Romjuee, Sennis Saleh, Sharon Sheehe Start, Dan Stryk, James Tate, Byll Travis, Damian Whalen, Daniel Woodrell, Carolyne Wright… as well as interviews with Stephen Dunn and Jack Conroy and a special feature on the American literary magazine.

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winter 1983

6.2 (Winter 1983)

Featuring work by Jorge Amado, Marvin Bell, Jeanne Bernhard, Michael Blumenthal, Don Bogen, Sidney Burris, Francois Camoin, Deborah Digges, Jack Hand, Jack Heflin, Lois Lindblad, Patrick Madden, Thomas McAfee, James McCorkle, Colleen J. McElroy, Martha McFerren, Kent Nelson, David St. John, Gregory Orr, Michael Pettit, David Ray, Peggy Shumaker, Ben Siegel, Jim Simmerman, Volodia Teitelboim, William Trowbridge, James Ulmer, Michael Waters, Gloria Whelan, Wendy Wieber… and an interview with Harry Crews.

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