World Literature Today features some amazing photography. "Why is World Literature Today, a literary magazine, publishing a photography issue?" writes Editor Daniel Simon. "For one thing, 2013 marks the centenary of popular 35mm still photography: the American Tourist Multiple camera was introduced in 1913, and Oskar Barnack began developing the prototype of the ur-Leica that same year. Moreover, 1913 stands out as a watershed modernist moment." During that same year, Camera Work published a special issue featuring art photography and the movement known as pictorialism. Simon explains, "By juxtaposing photography with other works of modern art and literature, Stieglitz was hoping to promote 'the camera's role as the most apt metaphor for the modernist enterprise' and to defend the use and aims of photography 'as one of the defining tasks of modernism itself.'"
He goes on to say that "one hundred years later—and in a similar spirit—WLT presents a special double issue devoted to the language of photography and, by extension, literature . . . By the conventional measure, the seventy-plus pictures included in this issue must be worth more than seventy thousand words. And while photographers often prefer to let the images they create stand on their won, without comment, in this instance we're fortunate to have their words alongside their photos."
The featured photographers include Yousef Khanfar, David Goldblatt & Nadine Gordimer, Lois Greenfield, Jacko Vassilev, Lisa Kristine, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Lalla A. Essaydi, Kenro Izu, Joyce Tenneson, Misha Gordin, Ken Duncan, Ami Vitale, David Doubilet, Candida Höfer & Umberto Eco, Tim Mantoani, Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Phil Borges, Graciela Iturbide, Jay Dusard, Camille Seaman, and Shahidul Alam.
The issue also contains essays by Kamila Shamsie, Adnan Mahmutović, and Mark Budman, as well as poetry by André Naffis-Sahely.