Divisiveness has become a hallmark of life in the United States, shaping the way we interpret social justice, identity, the ecosystem, the visual arts, and–as the pandemic has laid bare–even our health and mortality.
The “old normal,” much as we might crave returning to it in some ways, was rife with anti-intellectualism, police violence against Black people, racial antipathy toward people of color, broad-based social inequity, and a collision course with global warming? What might a “new normal” look like?
“NEXT: Visions Towards a Less Divided America” will be a Pangyrus book publication, due to come out in 2022. We’re looking for your best essays taking on the problems of today, and the potential of tomorrow. Whether lyric, braided, journalistic or flash, the strongest essays will find their way into publication.
The volume will be edited by Artress Bethany White, our nonfiction editor, as well as guest editor Jabari Asim, an accomplished poet, playwright, and writer. Asim is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Emerson College, where he is also the Elma Lewis Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of 13 books for children and 7 books for adults. His recent book, We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival, was a finalist for the PEN Diamondstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay in 2019. His next novel, Yonder, will be published in January 2022.
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