Happy New Year! And a few passing thoughts on the kindness of strangers…




Little Star, the annual journal of poetry and prose run by Ann Kjellberg, has just published its sixth issue. It includes new work by  Per Pettersen, César Aira, Eliot Weinberger, Linda Gregerson, Lydia Davis, A. J. Snijders, Gerbrand Bakker, Ange Mlinko, Georgi Gospodinov, Eugene Lim, Jacqueline Waters, Menno Wigman, Les Murray, Tim Parks, Darcie Dennigan, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, John Moran, Eugene Ostashevsky, Major Jackson, and others.

littlestarcoverLittle Star is “a sophisticated, wise and fierce little magazine. Filled with works in translation, painfully underrated writers like the brilliant Kathryn Davis and lovingly put together, I was impressed with it from start to finish,” writes Jessa Crispin. Added John Banville: “A very fine venture indeed… everything such a magazine should be.”

My issue (you can order your own here) arrived with an unusual note: “Help us out! Send us a picture of you reading this issue where you live – info@littlestarjournal.com; @littlestarmag ”

How could we resist? … but how could we comply? I staggered around Stanford, helplessly attempting a nonchalant selfie while trying to hold my cellphone steady and trying to look like I was engrossed in a journal at the same time. All the while feeling a little bit ridiculous. It didn’t work out very well. I have several dozen photos to prove it.

Finally two passing strangers asked if I needed help. I explained my mission, and they snapped the photo above, with me at the feet of Rodin‘s Jean d’Aire (I tell his story here). I wish I’d taken their names! I could have given them a photo credit! At any rate, I got favorited on Twitter by my friends at the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University in Paris; a friend I haven’t met yet, Blake Eskin; and Little Star itself.

Happy New Year everyone! Meanwhile get a copy of Little Star – and good luck with that selfie!


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2 Responses to “Happy New Year! And a few passing thoughts on the kindness of strangers…”

  1. Diana Senechal Says:

    Little Star is an outstanding journal. I have been negligent in keeping up with it (and with just about everything)–so thank you for the reminder! I ordered a copy just now.

    (Great photo, by the way.)

  2. Cynthia Haven Says:

    Glad I’ve been an influence, Diana!