An international quarterly magazine of politics, culture, literature and the arts published at Skidmore College
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Concerning Ralph Ellison on Juneteenth

“‘Things were not supposed to be this way.’ Those were words often spoken by Ralph Ellison, and of course they say, with a perfect simple eloquence, what many of us have felt. The things to which the author of Invisible Man referred were, no doubt about it, the conditions of life in these United States, conditions that affect the material circumstances, prospects for growth and spiritual quality of life enjoyed or suffered by flesh and blood Americans. And we have more than sufficient reason to believe that when Ralph Ellison spoke of things that so disappointed him, he was thinking particularly about relations between white people and black people, about equalities and inequalities, prospects and the absence of prospects, vision and blindness.”

Introductory remarks for AFRO-AMERICA At the Start of a New Century Salmagundi No. 133/134 (WINTER - SPRING 2002)

See CURRENT ISSUE in the menu above for Salmagundi’s latest symposium on the state of black culture in the US

During this urgent and pressing moment focused on race and justice, we will continue to feature black voices and relevant discussions from the pages of Salmagundi and more particularly from features such as “Arguing Identity” (Fall 2016-Winter 2017), “The Clash of Civilizations” (Spring-Summer 2006), “Race & Racism: American Dilemmas Revisited” (Fall 1994-Winter 1995) as well as the current issue’s “Black America and the State of the Culture.”


Salmagundi #206-207 Out Now

“Black Intellectuals & The Condition of the Culture” Symposium, Sontag, Modigliani, Romare Bearden, Poems & Columns

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May 1, 2020

Dear Reader —

For now, we have decided to make the spring-summer issue of SALMAGUNDi MAGAZINE available online only, and will print and mail out the hard copy edition from our offices at Skidmore College when the current Covid-19 crisis has passed and people have returned to their routines and places of work. This is the first time we’ve put an entire edition of the magazine online containing the FULL text of the print version that we hope to publish at some point before the end of the year. We are making this online edition available free of charge, without a pay wall, so subscribers as well as other readers have full access to it.

In the new double issue, you’ll find a variety of characteristic features, from columns on higher education and the recent British election to pieces on Susan Sontag, Modigliani and the artist Romare Bearden. But much of the nearly 300-page number is devoted to a SALMAGUNDI Symposium on “Black Intellectuals & The Condition of the Culture,” featuring Margo Jefferson, Darryl Pinckney, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Orlando Patterson and John McWhorter. There are two ways to access the new Spring-Summer 2020 issue of the magazine: 1. Visit the Current Issue page of our website by clicking that link in the menu at the top of our homepage where you’ll find all of the new issue’s pieces and features in an easy-to-read format for desktops, laptops or mobile devices. OR 2. Go to the ISSUU edition of #206-207—link below—which will allow you to read online or to download the issue as a facsimile of the print edition.

Take good care and let us know what you think of the new issue — we hope to run a full section of reader responses, especially to the symposium, in our next number.

Many thanks from the editors,

Robert Boyers, Peg Boyers, Marc Woodworth

Link to facsimile edition here:


Conducting the Light and The Dark

A Note on Jason Molina

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Frank Bidart’s ‘Ellen West’ Becomes an Opera

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Robert and Peg Boyers in the Salmagundi office, 1976

"salmagundi annual cocktail party" c. 1969 by margie mellman copy

“Salmagundi Annual Cocktail Party”

A Drawing c. 1969