The Kiss


Intimacies from Writers

A deliciously diverse anthology of essays, stories, poems, and graphic memoirs, where writers explore the deeply human act of kissing.

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"A kiss, you see, can carry not just a heart in it, but a soul."—Pico Iyer, "The Kiss at Dawn"

From Sioux Falls to Khartoum, from Kyoto to Reykjavik; from the panchayat forests of India to the Giant’s Causeway on the coast of Northern Ireland; in taxis and at bus stops, in kitchens and sleigh beds, haystacks and airports around the globe—people are kissing one another. The sublime kiss. The ambiguous kiss. The devastating kiss. The kiss we can’t take back. The kiss we can never give. The kiss that changes a life. In this anthology, writers and thinkers share their thoughts on a specific kiss—the unexpected and unforgettable—in an attempt to bridge the gulf, to connect us to one another on a deeply human level, and to explore the messy and complicated intimacies that exist in our actual lives, as well as in the complicated landscape of the imagination.

Sparked and developed from a series curated for Guernica by editor Brian Turner, this is a book meant to be read from cover to cover, just as much as it’s meant to be dipped into—with each kiss pulling us closer to the moments in our lives that matter most.


Kim Addonizio

Kazim Ali

J. Mae Barizo

Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Kurt Brown

Nickole Brown

Benjamin Busch

Brian Castner

Tina Chang

Steven Church

Adam Dalva

Mark Doty

Andre Dubus III

Camille T. Dungy

Martín Espada

Dave Essinger

Siobhan Fallon

Beth Ann Fennelly

Nick Flynn

Kimiko Hahn

Cameron Dezen Hammon

Terrance Hayes

Pico Iyer

Major Jackson

Lacy M. Johnson

Christian Kiefer

Matthew Komatsu

Ilyse Kusnetz

Ada Limón

Rebecca Makkai

John Mauk

Christopher Merrill

Philip Metres

Kathryn Miles

Dinty W. Moore

Honor Moore

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Bich Minh Nguyen

Téa Obreht

Kristen Radtke

Suzanne Roberts

Roxana Robinson

Schafer John c

Dan Sheehan

Tom Sleigh

Patricia Smith

Ira Sukrungurang

Christopher Paul Wolfe

Sholeh Wolpé

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