New Letters magazine celebrates idealism and freedom

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Vol. 78, No. 1 issue of New Letters – the University of Missouri-Kansas City‘s international magazine of writing and art – features poems by Jose Domingo Gomez Rojas, a Chilean poet who was imprisoned in the 1920s for writing what authorities believed to be subversive poetry. Accompanying Gomez Rojas’ poems are two essays about the poet, written by Thomas E. Kennedy and Raymond B. Craib. Gomez Rojas’ poetry and the essays about him celebrate free speech, peace and engagement.

“Let us call this edition of New Letters a collection of strong minds and wills applied to the celebration of life, all of it,” said Robert Stewart, editor of New Letters.

Furthering the themes of free speech and engagement are sculptures by artist John Salvest of shipping containers in his “IOU/USA” exhibit, the site of many Occupy Kansas City demonstrations. Margo Berdeshevsky’s photographs take readers across the Atlantic to the Occupy Paris movement.

In Phong Nguyen’s story, a young boy deals with the stress of his early childhood in the police state of Angkor and his new life in the U.S.; B.H. Fairchild comments on poetry and life in “A Midwestern Poetics: Selections from a Journal”; Shifra Sharlin contemplates the state of her soul; and Clarissa Hay embraces her tough side as a roller derby girl for New York’s Gotham Girls.

Also included in this issue is poetry by Albert Goldbarth, David Ray, Afaa Michael Weaver and Janice N. Harrington.

New Letters is published by the University of Missouri-Kansas City and distributed worldwide. Subscriptions are $22 per year (four issues), with discounts for longer subscriptions. For more information or to subscribe, call (816) 235-1168 or visit

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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