The Language of Medicine: An Interview with Chaya Bhuvaneswar

I met Chaya Bhuvaneswar on Twitter where she tirelessly champions other writers, especially women of color. I felt cheered by her enthusiasm and I looked forward to the publication of her debut story collection, White Dancing Elephants, which was selected as the winning manuscript in the 2018 Dzanc Prize for Fiction. Then I read her book, and became a fan. Chaya’s stories are dark, weird, often funny, the characters and lifestyles acutely observed, her language sharp as an arrow. Take this description of a mother and father given by the couple’s artistic and mentally disabled adult son who narrates the story, “Jagatishwaran”: Mother used to come at night, years ago, before I put up the screens, to ask how I was, but now she’s afraid. Once I pushed him hard, not her, never her, and I felt disgust at his shriveled skin, his nasal voice, always skeptical, his tiny well-read eyes like an elephant’s, nearly blind but remembering everything.

Apogee Issue 11 is here.

Dear Apogee Fam, For those of you who have been following us this past year, we’ve gone through some major transitions as a journal—including transitioning from print to digital issues. We made this decision to make Apogee more accessible to a wider range of readers. With web accessibility, we remain dedicated to bringing you voices that challenge the white cishetero patriarchal structure of mainstream publishing. As an entirely volunteer-based operation, we are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our work while also ensuring that we can pay contributors. We rely on readers to support this effort. As reading and contest fees raise the barriers for entry, we want to imagine new ways of cultivating community support and the longevity of our readership. This is why we have decided to start using a monthly subscription feature for our new digital issues. This monthly subscription will help us raise consistent funds to pay our contributors, which is our top priority. We ask you to become a member and subscriber where you get access to content fitting your level of engagement with Apogee Journal, while helping us put our mission into practice. Apogee Issue 11 features work by Bahaar Ahsan, Rbrown, Lauren Camp,...
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On Religion, Feminism, and writing Korean-American Characters: An Interview with R. O. Kwon

In her powerful debut novel The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon explores the grief that comes with losing religious faith, abortion center bombings, cults, and first love through startlingly inventive prose. Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall are college students in love when John Leal, an elusive and charming religious fanatic, enters their lives. As John draws Phoebe into his cult, her relationship with Will begins to fray. Instead of telling this story in chronological order, The Incendiaries shifts the reader’s expectations by opening with an act of violence committed by the cult. As Will tries to retrace Phoebe and John’s steps, the reader joins him, confronting questions about god, terrorism, faith, and how well one can know another person along the way.


New York fam, Join us tomorrow at the 14th Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice. A day to celebrate, commemorate, and continue fighting. Apogee Journal is a proud sponsor of TDOA and an advocate for the right to gender self-determination free from fear and socio-economic oppression. To participate, come to Christopher Street Pier, Pier 45 on Manhattan’s West Side, tomorrow, Friday, June 22, from 4-7pm. More details here:

Don’t Pander to Your Presumed Reader: Jamel Brinkley in Conversation with Crystal Hana Kim

When I began Jamel Brinkley’s debut collection, A Lucky Man, I read slowly to draw out my time with his stories. I was astounded by the beauty and heartbreak in each scene, from teenaged Ty who wanders Brooklyn searching for an all-night revel with his younger brother in tow, to middle-aged Lincoln who has taken on the habit of surreptitiously photographing women on the train. At the same time, I felt an expansive quality to Jamel’s work; though it’s clear that he pays attention to each sentence, his characters don’t feel overly crafted or precious. These men are nuanced and complicated; they feel real.

Call for Fiction Readers

Apogee Journal is currently looking for several highly motivated and web-savvy readers to join our fiction team. We are a small but ambitious journal, having launched our 10th print issue earlier this year. We are now transitioning to an all-digital model to increase accessibility to the writing and art we publish. Currently, all positions at Apogee are unpaid, but we are pursuing funding and pay staff project-based stipends whenever possible. This role represents a chance to be mentored by the fiction editorial team, to read and select the chosen fiction, and to build  confidence and editorial skill. You will also get to work alongside a community of dedicated artists and activists with the mission to emphasize marginalized identities. The time commitment will be around 5-10 hours per week.

Place[meant]: Denise Low

Place[meant] is a recurring series that explores identity beyond the geopolitical and physical parameters that have come to define our sense of place. From a train in Queens to the cuff of a bodily spell, the poems in this series navigate place as both material terrain and residual traces of one’s memory. Place[meant] delves into how migration, diaspora, borders, technologies of power and control, biopolitics, and historical violence shape our identities, the powers of which are anything but benign.
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