The Kenyon Review July/Aug 2022 is a collection of poetry, non-fiction, and short stories, with a folio focusing on mothers reflecting on the climate crisis. There is anger and grief in the issue, which bleeds through its non-fiction, particularly in ‘To Live Again’ by Aliyeh Ateaei translated by Salar Abdoh. The story is about a mother trying to teach her son about her home in Afghanistan and why they had to flee to Iran. I absolutely loved the way the language held so much weight and how she treats her son with tenderness. And one of its final lines aches with meaning as her son says, ‘”Next time I’ll try to be born as oil”’. I was also a fan of the short story ‘Still Life with Lobster’ by Timothy Reynolds with its sharp use of imagery. Overall, I enjoyed the pressing discussions of climate change, but couldn’t quite connect with the poetry.
Final Rating: 3.5/5
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Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.