Teach Issue 27

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Supplementary materials for teaching Issue 27 are listed below.


To accompany our portfolio of Arabic short stories from Chad, South Sudan, and Eritrea


Explore our collected resources and lesson plans related to literary translation and Arabic literature in translation


Before diving into the portfolio, students can learn important context about the featured countries by reading these overviews of Chad, South Sudan, and Eritrea (via Encyclopedia Britannica). 


After reading “The Day Azrael Committed Suicide” and “Zero,” students can read other Arabic stories translated by Sawad Hussain, including the Issue 11 story “Vermilion Daze” by Estabraq Ahmad and Issue 25 stories “Dear Customer” by Basima al-Enezi and “The Half-Hearted City” by Bothayna Al-Essa.


Jemal Humed’s piece “Morning Light” references the Eritrean revolution; to provide additional context, students can read about the Eritrean struggle for independence (via BBC) and Eritrean freedom fighter Taha Mohammed Nur (via Cahiers d’Études Africaines/JSTOR).


Stella Gaitano’s piece “Zero” and Arthur Gabriel Yak’s piece “The Day Azrael Committed Suicide” also reference specific historical events. Read more about South Sudan’s path to nationhood (via BBC) and watch this panel discussion about South Sudan’s civil war and independence (via Brookings).


For further exploration, here and elsewhere (non-portfolio)


“Lover, before the pandemic,” a poem by Eleanor Stanford, references the tumultuous romance between artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Students may be interested to learn more about the couple (via BBC) and read other pieces by Stanford, including another poem called “Lover, before the pandemic,” in our January 2024 Poetry Feature and in a June 2019 single poet feature on her work. Students can also learn more about Stanford in her 2014 interview with Zinzi Clemmons.


To provide historical context for Cortney Lamar Charleston’s poem “It’s Important I Remember That Journalism is the First Draft of History–,” students can read more about journalist and activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett (via the National Women’s History Museum) and the history of lynching in the United States (via NAACP). 


Students who enjoy Jade Song’s vibrant writing and exploration of Asian American identity in “Rabbit” should read her recently published debut novel Chlorine, her short story “Bloody Angle” (via Waxwing), and her essay on BTS and writing (via Teen Vogue).


Juliet S. K. Kono’s “Black-Out Baby,” Amalia Bueno’s “Herman Bones,” and Ann Inoshita’s “Atlanta Spa Mass Shootings,” are three poems from Eh, No Talk Li’Dat, an upcoming anthology from Kaya Press, written entirely in Pidgin, or Hawai‘i Creole English. Students can learn more about the history of Pidgin (via Honolulu Magazine) and the battle for its formal recognition (via The Atlantic). They can also read the poetry of R. Zamora Linmark, who edited the anthology and wrote the introduction to these selected works, including Issue 18 poem “Pilgrimage to a Killing” and Issue 26 poem “The Struldbruggs.”


If students enjoy A.J. Rodriguez’s engaging prose and focus on Latinx culture in “Papel Picado,” they can learn more about his writing processes in this interview (via New England Review) and read one of his other short stories, “Lenguaje” (via Passages North).


“At Basilica Notre-Dame,” a poem by Michelle Lewis, quotes Sylvia Plath. Students can read the quoted poem, “Sheep in Fog” (via The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation) as well as other poems by Plath (via Poetry Foundation). 


Two of our Issue 27 poems allude to Greek mythology. Students can learn about Aphrodite (via Brittanica), Uranus (via Brittanica), and the oracle of Delphi (via The New York Times) after reading Lakshmi Sunder’s “Indoles and Aphrodite.” After reading “Sappho on the Rocks” by Oksana Maksymchuk, students might be interested in reading about Helen of Troy (via The Collector), Alcaeus (via Brittanica), and Sappho (via Poetry Foundation). Students can also read Sappho’s poetry (via Project Gutenberg).


Students seeking background information on “Patron Saints” by Kevin Dean, a story set in Cairo, can read about the 2011 Egyptian revolution (via BBC) and Tahrir Square (via Al Jazeera).


Nguyen Binh’s poem “Dover” references Sơn Tinh, one of the Four Immortals in Vietnamese mythology. Students can read more about Vietnamese mythology (via Cogent Arts & Humanities) and the legend of Sơn Tinh (via Vietnam.com).

See all of Issue 27.

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Teach Issue 27