Institutional News

Bennington Review, Issue Six: Kissing in the Future

The newly relaunched Bennington Review has released its sixth issue, featuring innovative poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and film writing around the theme of “Kissing in the Future.”

Image of astronaut surrounded by birds

Acts of intimacy between individuals, be they momentary or enduring, be they physical or emotional, be they a regular practice or something one actively pursues or something that occurs spontaneously and without warning, are indefatigably pervasive across human experience, in parks and prisons, during the open day and in the private dark, in adolescence and in dotage, in ostensibly free societies and under extraordinarily repressive regimes.

They lead, time after time, to pinnacles of shared joy and wormholes of abject despair. This will continue to happen in the future. 

The future is a fog, a grey translucency. "What is a future, anyway?" asks the narrator of Christopher Higg's "Scarystory" in this issue. The future of kissing, on the other hand, is a sure thing—we know what that will be like, and how little it will differ from the history of kissing.

"Many of the poems, stories, and essays in this issue juxtapose the unknown of the future with the temporary certainty of the intimate—searching, often against odds, for platonic, romantic, sexual, and otherwise human connections with others," said Bennington Review Editor Michael Dumanis. "Much of this writing is likewise preoccupied, directly and indirectly, with the linear passage of time, with beginnings and endings."

In Paul Alexander's poem "Embracing Figures," the Pompeiian boys kissing each other during the eruption of Vesuvius won't stop the cataclysm or their own deaths through this final act. Writes Alexander, "They did not consider history or archaeology/or the way a world could so misunderstand/one simple gesture. They only knew/they were in each other's arms,/one resting his head on the other's chest."

This issue includes poetry by Paul Alexander, Diannely Antigua, Sandra Beasley, Calvin Bedient, Molly Bendall, Jericho Brown, Heather Christle, Chris Forhan, Sydney Lea, and Lindsay Turner; fiction and nonfiction by Priscilla Becker, Jennifer Kronovet, Mark Jude Poirier, and Maura Stanton; and an interview with the poet Jericho Brown.