Foreign Literary

Issue Five: Spring 2021 is now available!

Dear Readers and Writers,

I am writing to announce that Foreign Literary will take a hiatus beginning immediately. This announcement is long overdue, as attention to the journal has waned over the last year.

The reason for the break is only to focus on other things in life: my own writing, teaching, preparing to marry and run a business. As usual, if I had many lives to live, I would happily continue in this pursuit, which has been rewarding in countless ways, and would certainly continue to be so.

At this point, I am not sure if I will ever return to the journal, but I do not want to close the door completely.

Thank you to all of the writers, photographers and artists who have contributed their work. Thank you for the support of the readers. This has been an incredible experience, and it’s because of everyone involved.

Much love and gratitude,


After much ado, the Spring 2021 issue of the magazine is live and available for purchase!

This issue features poems, prose and visual media from amazingly talented people around the world; it is a privilege to announce its release.

The following writers, poets and photographers are featured in the issue: Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman, Tony Concannon, Margaret Erhart, Melanie Faranello, Lawrence Farrar, Joanna Grant, Jeff Greenwald, Feby Joseph, Namrata Kartik, Bob Kunzinger, John Lambremont Sr., Karen Loeb, Kevin Panji Lukito, Maxim Matusevich, Eglė Našlėnaitė, Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi, Frances Park, Serena Paver, Robert Perchan, Fabrice Pouissin, Cailin Rhiannon, Venus Sabrina, Jeff Schiff, Nolo Segundo, Sebastian Simon, Brendon Taylor, and Martin Willitts Jr.

It’s exciting to announce the release of the fourth issue of Foreign Literary Journal. In addition to work written from around the globe, this issue features visual media from some fantastic photographers and visual artists, including our cover contest winner, Leigh MacArthur, of Yangju, South Korea. Also featured are the following writers, poets and artists:

Thomas Barber, Willow Barnosky, Despy Boutris, Jaime Alejandro Cruz, Deegy Dallong, Ash Dean, Timothy Dodd, Somrita Urni Ganguly, John Greiner, Will Jackson, Mike Knowles, Carlo Rey Lacsamana, Mark L. Levinson, Leigh MacArthur, Michal Mahgerefteh, John C. Mannone, Neha Maqsood, Candace Meredith, Irina Moga, Tabitha Novotny, Abdulmugheeth Petersen, Dawn Raffel, Florangel Reyes, Ben G. Rosenstein, Niall Ruddy, Michael T. Smith, Ed Strosser, Chris Tharp, Enas Suleiman, Sarena Tien, Francisco J. Villarreal, Michael Volpe, and Rondalyn Whitney.

We are grateful to showcase their work, and over the next few weeks we look forward to sharing some of it on the website. Support us by picking up a copy today!

Foreign Literary Journal is a collection of stories, poems and essays from around the globe, including Pakistan, China, South Korea, Nepal, South Africa, Israel, Zambia, France, India, Canada, the United States, Nigeria, Sudan, Australia, Kyrgyzstan and more. Twenty-six authors and poets are included, all writing about their experience living or visiting far from home. Whether it is returning to the 1970s, when college-aged author Lucy Ferriss follows a romantic crush to Austria, to spend a winter in a skiing village as a bar maid, or Wallace Kaufman’s time in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, at the funeral for his host grandmother, and learning about a life that spanned the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Or being ejected from an RV on a family road trip, abandoned at a gas station in Norway, with Franz Jørgen Neumann and revisiting the memories and ghosts of an old college town, the issue is full of fantastic voices.

This issue features work by the following authors: Kelli Allen, Anne Babson, R. Bremner, K. Eltinaé, John Grey, Tim Fab-Eme, Stephen House, Kim Peter Kovac, John C. Mannone, Manthipe Moila, Guna Moran, W. E. Pasquini, kerry rawlinson, Jade Riordan Rae Rozman, Michael Ruiz, Gerard Sarnat, Hibah Shabkhez, Ian C Smith, Yuan Changming, Lucy Ferriss, Wallace Kaufman, Kirby Olson, Bhisma Upreti, Jessica Barksdale, and Franz Jørgen Neuman.

Foreign Literary Journal is a compilation of poetry and prose related to the theme of life away from home. The poetry begins with rage and wonder in Paris, continues in France, then to Peru and Puerto Rico; to South Korea, to Georgia (the country), to the Philippines, Japan, India, to a cruise ship departing Spain; to Russia, Vietnam, and more. The styles and voices are as diverse and colorful as the places and people they describe; some of it heavy, some quite light, and most is full of insight and beauty.

The prose starts in Greece in the 1960s, on an archaeological dig to discover “The First Place where the End of the Earth Began,” a mystical, beautifully wrought tale of attempting to discover Atlantis, by L. Shapley Bassen. Then Steven Carr brings us to a village in the deserts of Morocco, where a French Legionnaire has deserted his training and is hiding out in a local girl’s hut. Afterwards, Steven Feldman shows us Goa on a hilarious vacation of his cousin’s, “Mordacai” Feldman, who has returned to India with his 3rd wife to relive his glory days. In “Day of Rock”, Mark Halpern provides a portrait of a quirky businessman who has made Japan home, and who falls hard for a local. Then to Vietnam, where Michael Howard shows us the sad end of a man’s somewhat sordid sojourn abroad. In “The View from High Places” Diane Lefer takes us to Japan, with a young beauty contestant from a small mining town. Guided by two women—a conservative translator and eccentric artist— she confronts sexual harassment and wonders what’s so great about the view from high places. The stories continue to a fictionalized country, in Chris Tharp’s excerpt from a novel: “The Cuttlefish,” and a bad day that only gets worse; and then to Columbia in “A Love Affair with Chaos,” for a tempestuous love affair and visit to a warzone along the border of a crumbling Venezuela, with journalist Joshua Collins. Afterwards, Steve Feldman takes us to Burma, to discuss how the country resembles George Orwell’s Burmese Days from when it was under colonial British rule. Then to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in “Kore”, a story by Joanna Grant about what it means to leave a place and its people behind. Finally, we visit a small village in Senegal with Bob Kunzinger, and the nightly tea ceremonies that bring the people of the village together each night, in “Attaya.”

The issue is long and full, and we are very happy to share it with you. We hope that, wherever you are, these pages give you a sense of camaraderie, entertainment, and more. As always, thank you to the writers who’ve sent us their work, and to our readers who want to read it

Foreign features stories and poetry, from, about, or by people in Morocco, Buenos Aires, Russia, London, Italy, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Poland, Slovakia, Syria, Germany, India, Sweden, Afghanistan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Korea, Iran, America and more.

All of it is about life away from home, about intersecting cultures and languages, about life as an outsider, but also more universal themes of loss, seduction, absurdity, hilarity, and more. In much of it, there is a pervading sense of remorse over the passing of time, in how our decisions affect us through our lives, how we cannot wind back the dial. As Maryam Alihkani, one of our poets, says, “Before you know / you are homesick and longing for / a place you no longer belong…”

In the spirit of Hemingway, Melville, Gilbert, Iyer, Theroux, Thoreau, Hunter S. Thompson, Cheryl Strayed, George Orwell, Graham Greene, David Mitchell, James Baldwin, Mohsin Hamid, Min Jin Lee, Malcolm Lowry, Paul Bowles, the Romantics, the Beats. These are not general travel stories, or helpful tips for backpacking through Bali, but tales of being human, of broken hearts, desire, fear, and laughter.

Read Interview with author, Lucy Ferriss.

Author, professor, tennis player, musician, Lucy Ferriss, graciously agreed to answer questions about her work and travels. She offers reading recommendations, gives advice on how to live abroad, and much more. Thank you to the author for taking the time to answer questions and her insightful, thought-provoking answers.

Read the interview here.

Interview with Wallace Kaufman

It seems almost impossible to pigeonhole Wallace Kaufman, except to say that he seems to have followed his nose down many interesting avenues in life. From an expedition to the arctic, and time spent living in Kazakhstan just after the fall of the USSR, to learning Spanish in order to raise his daughter in a bilingual home, and living alone in the woods. To hear him speak about it, it seems as if somehow, it all just happened. We are honored for him to have answered our questions.

Issue three features writing from or about places as far as Pakistan, China, South Korea, Nepal, South Africa, Israel, Zambia, France, India, Canada, the United States, Nigeria, Sudan, Australia, Kyrgyzstan and more. Twenty-six authors and poets are included, all writing about their experience living or visiting far from home. 

Read from the issue.