Elemental Borowicz



We meet writers the way most editors do – at readings and parties and photo shoots. We recruit them from universities. We hear about them from friends. We get excerpts from agents seeding markets for books. We have our Ezras out beating the bushes for Eliots. Behind every name in our archive is the story of a meeting. But sometimes we don't meet our writers at all, sometimes we just meet their work, and sometimes that's the purest meeting of all – the spark of recognition between unknown reader and unexpected text.


We like to imagine it was raining in Moscow on the August day that Karina Borowicz sent us “The Maintenance of Public Order” – just a file attached to an email sent from halfway around the world, without so much as a howdy on top. These are the moments when it pays to read unsolicited submissions: It was poetry, it was fiction, it was commentary. It was all those things, it was good, and it was contrary. Unable to safely call them poems or stories or essays, we call them after matter as essential and spare as they are: elements. “Public Order” appeared in autumn. In winter we published “In a Certain Light.”


We know very little about Karina Borowicz – a writer, a teacher, a translator, Massachusetts-born, wandering the frostbitten edges of Eastern Europe – but we know all we need to know about her work. She captures the unbearable pulse of despair and hope in the world as its people pass across it, scarcely aware. --ed.


Three elements by Karina Borowicz:


Holy Water >

Morning Ritual >

Red Giant Leap >