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POETRY - DEAR EVERYONE BY MATT SHEARS

February 27, 2017

DEAR EVERYONE
BY MATT SHEARS

Review by Brennan Burnside

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye in an interview said that “words can give you something back if you trust them, and if you know that you're not trying to proclaim things all the time, but you're trying to discover things.” Words take control of a poet, words lead... read more >

 

MAGIC CITY GOSPEL BY ASHLEY M. JONES

February 24, 2017

Poetry
MAGIC CITY GOSPEL
BY ASHLEY M. JONES

Review by Josè Angel Araguz

In a foreword to a selection of her work, Adrienne Rich offers the following reflection on her early writing life: “The learning of poetic craft was much easier than knowing what to do with it—with the powers, temptations, privileges, potential deceptions, and two-edged weapons of language” (emphasis mine). .. read more >

 

Intimacy - STANLEY CRAWFORD

February 03, 2017

FICTION
Stanley Crawford’s Intimacy
A Slow and Easeful Thing

Review by Austin Price

The unnamed narrator of Stanley Crawford’s Intimacy may dither for pages on end about his plan to kill himself, but the reader realizes early on that this is only a ritual, a game he plays with himself from time to time. That he has no intention of killig himself. That he cannot kill himself... read more >

 

POETRY LUNCH POEMS BY DEBORAH KUAN

January 19, 2017

POETRY
LUNCH POEMS
BY DEBORAH KUAN

Review by Brennan Burnside

Deborah Kuan’s Lunch Poems works exclusively within the realm of the unwanted. Her poïesis is a diffuse assemblage of matter, her predilections are loose ends and detachedness. Her writing challenges the Bakhtinian notion that poetry is restrictive discourse rooted in a singular voice excluding all others (a centripetal gesture that Bakhtin calls monoglossia and compares... read more >

 

The Best American Poetry 2016

January 05, 2016

The Best American Poetry 2016
Edward Hirsch (Guest Editor)
David Lehman (Series Editor)

Review by Sean Speers

This has been a difficult year. If you’re like me, “You can’t stop mourning / everything all the time.”1 It seems entirely appropriate that David Lehman dedicates the foreword to The Best American Poetry 2016 to a close reading of Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming”... read more >

 

FICTION, One with the Tiger BY STEVEN CHURCH

December 22, 2016

Fiction
One with the Tiger
BY STEVEN CHURCH

Review by Michael Mount

There is something entrancing yet repulsive about watching the young Bronx zoo visitor, David Villalobos, leap from a caravan of tram cars and into the pit of a 400-pound Siberian tiger named Bashuta, who, though chained, possesses all the instincts of an apex predator... read more >

 

FICTION, CROSSTALK BY CONNIE WILLIS

November 05, 2016

Fiction
CROSSTALK
BY CONNIE WILLIS

Review by Chris Gramuglia

Connie Willis' new novel, Crosstalk, examines the growing obsession in modern society with social-media and technology and how, at times, these advances can ironically inhibit our ability to truly communicate. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Briddey Flanagan, Willis places the reader in a setting that is fueled by a strong preoccupation... read more >

 

The King of White Collar Boxing

October 10, 2016

Memoir
The King of White Collar Boxing
by David Lawrence

Review by Brennan Burnside

Reading David Lawrence’s memoir White Collar Boxing, I was reminded of something Mary Karr said about the genre: it isn’t about historical truth or objective facts, but about communicating “the shape of yourself.” Memoirs aren’t journalism... read more >

 

They Were Coming for Him by Berta Vias-Mahou

September 29, 2016

Novel
They Were Coming for Him
By Berta Vias-Mahou
Translated by Cecilia Ross

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus, the famous French-Algerian philosopher and Nobel prize winning author, is well known for using language to reveal the intimate dualities in our lives... read more >

 

Verse for the Averse: a Review of Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry

September 07, 2016

Verse for the Averse:
a Review of Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry

Review by Robert Detman

The health of an art form is the fortress which invites attack, and is often the precursor of proclamations of its demise. Assessing the forces against contemporary poetry, award winning poet and MacArthur genius Ben Lerner, in his book length essay The Hatred of Poetry, offers a critique and a defense of poetry, as well as a rebuke to those who would herald poetry’s decline... read more >

 

That Other Me by Maha Gargash

July 31, 2016

That Other Me
by Maha Gargash

Review by Sandy Truong

After her successful debut novel The Sandfish (2009) Maha Gargash once again returns to Dubai, but in the in the 1990’s traveling between Dubai and Cairo to explore the dangers of wealth’s seduction.

That Other Me is a tragic tale of how wealth, secrets, and betrayal contribute to the collapse of a prestigious Emirati family. Unable to resist the allure of wealth the current head of the Nassemy family, Majed, stole his dead brother’s company for his own and now he is one of the richest businessmen in Dubai... read more >

 

Fiction, Simone by Eduardo Lalo

July 12, 2016

Fiction
Simone
by Eduardo Lalo

Reviewed by Alcy Leyva

As a child, I spent summers getting to know San Juan. For ten years, I grew from an adolescent into a young man, and alongside me, the city of San Juan also began to age. I returned there just last year, to finds the birthplace of my mother unrecognizable... read more >

 

Swimming by Karl Luntt

June 30, 2016

Fiction
Swimming
Karl Luntta

Review by Jonathan Crecelius

Karl Luntta’s Swimming offers readers a global view of modern life. With settings in Africa, America and Europe, Luntta shows how finding real relationships among intracultural backgrounds is still possible... read more >

 

Ghost/ Landscape by Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher

June 24, 2016

Poetry
Ghost/ Landscape
by Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher

Two people talking about the weather has never been so insightful or enlightening. Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher’s astounding Ghost / Landscape’s show that talking about the weather doesn’t have to be awkward filler... read more >

 

YOUNG ADULT FICTION: ENCHANTMENT LAKE: A NORTHWOODS MYSTERY BY MARGI PREUS

June 05, 2016

YOUNG ADULT FICTION:
ENCHANTMENT LAKE: A NORTHWOODS MYSTERY BY MARGI PREUS

Review by Carol Dowd-Forte

Francie Frye’s not really a detective, but she played one on TV.
So when the body count rises on Enchantment Lake, an enigmatic phone call from her great-aunts—made even more cryptic by bad cell reception and a woman’s tendency towards the wacky—propels seventeen year-old Francesca... read more >

 

Bad Light, by Carlos Castán

June 05, 2016

Bad Light
by Carlos Castán
translated by Michael McDevitt

Review by Sandy Rodriguez Barron

In Bad Light, a man sets out to find out who murdered his best friend. Set in Zaragoza, Spain, the novel begins with a question - who would want to kill a sweet, lonely guy like Jacobo? The police find no clues, no witnesses... read more >

 

DIABOLIQUES BY JULES BARBEY d’AUREVILLY

May 12, 2016

FICTION
DIABOLIQUES
BY JULES BARBEY d’AUREVILLY

Review by Austin Price

The idea that Diaboliques was deemed so gross “an outrage against public morality” upon its initial publication that police raided the printing house and seized all remaining copies must seem absurd to modern sensibilities. These six stories are not child’s fare, replete as they are with bloody adultery, erotic entanglement and characters of a ferocious and pronounced immorality... read more >

 

POETRY, STAYING ALIVE BY LAURA SIMS

May 5, 2016

POETRY
STAYING ALIVE
BY LAURA SIMS

Review by Sean Speers

In her fourth collection of poetry, Staying Alive, Laura Sims revisits familiar grounds the way one would revisit a cemetery. The poems are eerie, reverent and unrelenting in their grief. At the core of the collection is apocalypse and the driving force is decay. It’s a story as old as time told without narrative... read more >

 

Novel, Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

April 28, 2016

Novel
Core of the Sun
by Johanna Sinisalo

Review by Sara Alice Di Blasi

Unlike most dystopian works, Johanna Sinisalo’s The Core of the Sun does not travel into an unforeseeable future to comment on the present and past. Set in 2017, and earlier years, the novel represents a fictional Finland, the perfect backdrop for discussing women who are only allowed to “write shopping lists and read them aloud, say the names of plants... read more >

 

FIREFLIES by JOHN LELAND

March 25, 2016

Poetry
FIREFLIES
by JOHN LELAND

Review by Brennan Burnside

When I read John Leland’s Fireflies, I felt the guttural tug of Samuel Coleridge’s definition of elegy: that “the poet…presents everything as lost and gone or absent and future.” In Leland’s poems, the “lost and gone,” and “the absent and future”... read more >

 

Maze of Blood by Marly Youmans

March 12, 2016

NOVEL
Maze of Blood
by Marly Youmans

Review by Joe Manning

In her fourteenth and most recent book, poet and novelist Marly Youmans reconfigures the life of pulp fiction author, and creator of Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard into an exploration of the creative impulse, and a pilgrimage into the labyrinthine heart of Story itself... read more >

 

TENDER THE MAKER BY CHRISTINA HUTCHINS

February 25, 2016

POETRY
TENDER THE MAKER
BY CHRISTINA HUTCHINS

Review by A.K. Afferez

A book written for the makers who grieve is a strange one in a world convinced of the joys of creation and the misery of destruction. Grieving indicates loss, and what kind of loss could a demiurge experience? Tender the Maker revisits the age-old comparison between poet and deity, highlighting its blind spots, namely the times when creating also means losing... read more >

 

LITTLE ANODYNES BY JON PINEDA

January 14, 2016

POETRY
LITTLE ANODYNES
BY JON PINEDA

Review by A.K. Afferez

Things lurk in Pineda’s poetry. What starts out as a seemingly straightforward autobiographical recollection of events ends up charged with unspoken, evasive grief, which, to be understood in all its devastating power, must be considered obliquely... read more >

 

SOMEONE’S TRYING TO FIND YOU BY MARC AUGÉ

January 21, 2016

SOMEONE’S TRYING TO FIND YOU
BY MARC AUGÉ

Review by Charles Ross

If a mysterious stranger approached you and said that someone was looking for you, what would you do? Most people would turn and walk away, but in Marc Augé’s novel, protagonist Julian Arnauld is intrigued. Perhaps it’s because he genuinely curious about the stranger’s intentions–a young woman named Claire... read more >

 

NOVEL CONJUROR BY HOLLY SULLIVAN MCCLURE

January 21, 2016

NOVEL
CONJUROR
BY HOLLY SULLIVAN MCCLURE

Review by Jacqueline Kharouf

Conjuror is the story of four Cherokee boys, their grandfathers, and one outsider who are each integral to the continuation of the legends, beliefs, and traditions that have kept the Cherokee community of Graham County, North Carolina together for nearly 300 years... read more >

 

The Four Corners of Palermo by Giuseppe Di Piazza

January 14, 2016

The Four Corners of Palermo
by Giuseppe Di Piazza

Review by Chris Gramuglia

The Four Corners of Palermo is a window into a war waged by the Sicilian Mafia in the early 1980s. Giuseppe Di Piazza’s debut novel is filled with raw depictions of violence and crime, moral depravity and fierce power struggles... read more >

 

Ashley-Elizabeth Best - Now You Have Many Legs to Stand On

December 18, 2015

POETRY
Ashley-Elizabeth Best:
Constructing the female identity in Now You Have Many Legs to Stand On

Review by Robert Anderson

In Now You Have Many Legs to Stand On, 26 year-old Kingston, Ontario poet Ashley-Elizabeth Best looks back at her former self in order to gain the resilience to move forward. The poet embarks on a journey to the physical and spiritual home of her upbringing... read more >

 

Robert Peake’s The Knowledge

November 12, 2015

Poetry
The Knowledge
Robert Peake

Review by Abby E. Murray

If you don’t read Robert Peake’s The Knowledge as a taking-up-again of existential conversation, you’re doing it wrong. If you do not imagine him sharing your seat on the evening bus as it rattles homeward, him spilling the poems and you listening... read more >

 

The Darling  By Lorraine M. López

October 29, 2015

Fiction
The Darling
by Lorraine M. López

Review by Kaulie Lewis

Half the fun of stories is in the retelling, and there’s a long and productive tradition of creative adaptation. There are retellings-as-critique, as in Jean Rhy’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and modernizing-retellings-because-they’re-fun... read more >

 

 How To Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes

October 22, 2015

Poetry
How To Be Drawn
by Terrance Hayes

Review by Zachary R. Wood

How often do we consider the possibility of there being a difference between what it is and what it looks like? In How To Be Drawn, Terrance Hayes brings into the art of his craft the intellectual generosity, ambiguity... read more >

 

Watershed Days: Adventures (A Little Thorny and Familiar) in the Home Range - Thorpe Moeckel

October 15, 2015

Watershed Days: Adventures (A Little Thorny and Familiar) in the Home Range
Thorpe Moeckel

Review by Brian Gilmore

Luis Alberto Urrea went through one of the most visceral, real things someone could go through. After splitting with his wife, he set off for the American Southwest and kept track of all the unusual spots visited, odd characters encountered, and existential knowledge gained. .. read more >

 

[INSERT] BOY BY DANEZ SMITH

August 27, 2015

POETRY
[INSERT] BOY
BY DANEZ SMITH

Review by LynleyShimat Lys

My friend Maura can sing clear from the low tenor range to the notes above high soprano, and this is precisely the sort of astonishing range Danez Smith exhibits in his debut collection, “[Insert] Boy,” with poems which stretch from song to hymn to elegy to variations on the sestina... read more >

 

DEMIGODS ON SPEEDWAY BY AURELIE SHEEHAN

August 27, 2015

FICTION
DEMIGODS ON SPEEDWAY
BY AURELIE SHEEHAN

Review by Justin Bendell

In Demigods on Speedway (University of Arizona Press, 2014), Aurelie Sheehan delivers a darkly humorous collection of stories on the haves and have-nots of recession-era Tucson, Arizona. The collection encompasses sixteen taut, interlinking stories broken into three sections—Journey, Story, Escape—which serve as thematic scaffolding... read more >

 

Singing Bones, KATE SCHMITT

August 20, 2015

MEMOIR
Singing Bones
by KATE SCHMITT

Review by Veronica Suarez

Writers are sometimes given the daunting task of developing a character that has depression: it’s daunting because depression is a passive struggle, and it’s a task because the writer has to create plot structures to activate that struggle... read more >

 

Find Me, Laura Van Den Berg

August 20, 2015

Find Me
by Laura Van Den Berg

Review by Natalie Sypolt

In this age of Ebola and super-flus, the terrifying world that Laura Van Den Berg creates in her new novel, Find Me, is easy to imagine. The country has been wrecked by a mysterious sickness that first takes the memory and then the lives of those it infects... read more >

 

Knuckleball By Tom Pitts

August 13, 2015

Fiction
Knuckleball
By Tom Pitts

Review by Hector Duarte Jr.

Tom Pitts’s latest noir novella, Knuckleball is about small town passion for baseball and a vicious murder that caps off the start of the season. The setting, however, is not a small town but the major metropolitan city of San Francisco... read more >

 

WANDERING TIME BY LUIS ALBERTO URREA

August 06, 2015

Nonfiction WANDERING TIME
BY LUIS ALBERTO URREA

Review by Hector Duarte Jr.

Luis Alberto Urrea went through one of the most visceral, real things someone could go through. After splitting with his wife, he set off for the American Southwest and kept track of all the unusual spots visited, odd characters encountered, and existential knowledge gained. .. read more >

 

Teaching a Man to Unstick His Tail BY RALPH HAMILTON

July 23, 2015

POETRY
Teaching a Man to Unstick His Tail
BY RALPH HAMILTON

Review by Roy G. Guzmán

What do we mean when we say a poet is ambitious? Is ambition ever good? Ralph Hamilton’s debut, Teaching a Man to Unstick His Tail, may embody that sentiment, the kind of collection that forces us to reconsider which metaphors we have inherited and how we can help them survive... read more >

 

Domenica Martinello:  The Abject in the Interzones

July 16, 2015

Poetry
Domenica Martinello:
The Abject in the Interzones

Review by Robert Anderson

Such is the audacious opening lines of Domenica Martinell’s first chapbook Interzones. Raised in Montreal, now residing in Toronto, the 23 year old poet references the term interzones from military diction meaning international zone... read more >

 

Control Bird Alt Delete by Alexandria Peary

July 10, 2015

POETRY
Control Bird Alt Delete
by Alexandria Peary

Review by Christina M. Rau

Control + Alt + Delete has become a mantra for those who have PC issues and need to restart their computers; this hot button command does the trick. Here, Alexandria Peary places a bird into the mix, and what ensues is a journey that wanders indoors and outdoors through mazes of nostalgia and dreams... read more >

 

TWELVE CLOCKS BY JULIE SOPHIA PAEGLE

June 25, 2015

POETRY
LOVE YOU TO A PULP
BY C.S. DeWILDT

Reviewed by Hector Duarte Jr.

Neil Chambers is not Sam Spade. This isn’t a whiskey swilling, cigarette rolling private dick. In fact, “Neil Chambers couldn’t help it. It was one of those dirty little habits that had followed him his entire life.” The dirty little habit is huffing glue... read more >

 

TWELVE CLOCKS BY JULIE SOPHIA PAEGLE

June 25, 2015

POETRY
TWELVE CLOCKS
BY JULIE SOPHIA PAEGLE

Review by AK Afferez

Somewhere between Ancient Greece, Las Vegas and Buenos Aires lies a center of gravity where Julie Sophia Paegle spins a meditation on time of epic proportions.

If the opening invocation to Calliope — the muse of epic poetry and eloquence as well as the name of a musical instrument... read more >

 

Even Though I Don’t Miss You: A Review by Cathleen Chambless

June 18, 2015

POETRY EVEN THOUGH I DON’T MISS YOU
BY CHELSEA MARTIN

Review by Cathleen Chambless

Even Though I Don’t Miss You is a humorous, yet honest collection of confessional prose poems that study the process of processing the end of a relationship. Which sounds like it could be intensely sentimental and urgent, but it’s not. Mainly because it’s not one of those “I lost the love of my life” reflections, more like “I was with this person for a long time and now I’m not” sort of reflection. I am not sure how many of these sorts of reflections exist, which is what makes it intriguing... read more >

 

FICTION - WOMEN BY CHLOE CALDWEL

June 11, 2015

FICTION
WOMEN
BY CHLOE CALDWELL

Review by Maura Lammers

Chloe Caldwell's slim and sensual new novella, Women, defies labels. It is not merely a love story, or a story of sexual awakening, or a coming out story, but a story about two women wrecking each other's lives during an illicit whirlwind romance... read more >

 

FIFTEEN DOGS BY ANDRE ALEXIS

June 04, 2015

Poetry
FIFTEEN DOGS
BY ANDRE ALEXIS

Review by Brian Gilmore

According to David Chariandy in a November 2004 article in the Journal of West Indian Literature on Andre Alexis, Alexis was part of a “new phase in the history of Caribbean Literature” when he emerged. Alexis, born in Trinidad, but essentially a writer reared in Canada, depicts his West Indian heritage in “threatening terms” according to Chariandy... read more >

 

ESSAY 2:12 A.M. BY KAT MEADS

May 28, 2015

ESSAY
2:12 A.M.
BY KAT MEADS

Review by Winnie Khaw

Rita, window greeter and cashier for Las Vegas wedding ceremonies held at the Little White Chapel, calls to visitors, “Darlings! This is a drive-through, not a drive-by event. Turn off the car engine (77).”... read more >

 

REVISING THE STORM - GEFFREY DAVIS

April 30, 2015

REVISING THE STORM
BY GEFFREY DAVIS

Review by LynleyShimat Lys

In many ways, Joshua Dolezal’s childhood was typical—perhaps even idyllic. He lived in a small mountain town in the west, played sports, went to school, and had a sister and parents who loved one another. They had dinner together every night... read more >

 

Quality Snacks - Andy Mozina

April 17, 2015

Short Story
Quality Snacks
by Andy Mozina

Review by Gareth Spark

"Quality Snacks" (Wayne State University Press, 2014) is the second collection of Andy Mozina's short stories. His first, "The Women Were Leaving the Men" won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and his fiction has appeared in numerous reputable journals... read more >

 

Nature's Confession by J.L. Morin

March 26, 2015

Nature's Confession
Science Fiction Novel by J.L. Morin

Reviewed by Mary Woodbury

J.L. Morin's Nature's Confession is a classic science fiction novel, pertinent to modern times. This epic spacetime romp has two teens—a mixed-race, fourteen-year-old, simply named "Boy", and his half-sister Kenza, along with their parents—trying to save planet Earth... read more >

 

Midnight in Siberia

March 19, 2015

Midnight in Siberia
by David Greene

Reviewed by Alexandra Grabbe

NPR’s Morning Edition host David Greene invites anyone curious about modern-day Russia to join him on a 6000-mile journey through a snowy landscape, from Yaroslav to Vladivostok, in his first book, Midnight in Siberia... read more >

 

STRINGS ATTACHED BY DIANE DECILLIS

March 12, 2015

Poetry
Strings Attached
by Diane Decillis

Review by AK Afferez

“Strings attached” has us thinking about constraints and control. Something that implies conditions to be respected, perhaps even a latent threat. Images of puppetry and almost invisible influences. String Theory, if we’re physics-inclined. Diane DeCillis revisits these semantics, exploring the connections between all things and people, the relationships... read more >

 

Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging

February 19, 2015

Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging

Memoir by Joshua Dolezal

In many ways, Joshua Dolezal’s childhood was typical—perhaps even idyllic. He lived in a small mountain town in the west, played sports, went to school, and had a sister and parents who loved one another. They had dinner together every night...
read more >

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT BY JERICHO BROWN

January 29, 2015

POETRY
THE NEW TESTAMENT
BY JERICHO BROWN

Review by LynleyShimat Lys

Revolutionary and ground-breaking as its namesake, Jericho Brown’s “The New Testament,” envisions elegies of the body, the blues and Langston Hughes as myths of origin, and the salve and discomfort of lovers and lost brothers. In the penultimate poem, “Heart Condition,” the speaker says, “This body... read more >

 

YOU DON’T KNOW ME by James Nolan

January 23, 2015

You Don't Know Me
by James Nolan

Review by Beth Gilstrap

In his latest collection YOU DON’T KNOW ME author James Nolan, (Higher Ground 2011) world-building is as complex and intricate as any found in popular fantasy fiction, but he’s working with a city that’s already carved into this nation’s consciousness... read more >

 

PHONING HOME: ESSAYS

January 01, 2015

NONFICTION
PHONING HOME: ESSAYS

by Jacob M. Appel

In these thirteen essays, Jacob M. Appel applies his sardonic wit and intellectual scrutiny to all aspects of his life, from his first days as a medical resident to his “private apocalypse” at losing his beloved childhood rubber cats, whom he referred to as merely, “Fat and Thin.”...
read more >

 

WORDS WE MIGHT ONE DAY SAY

January 01, 2015

POETRY
WORDS WE MIGHT ONE DAY SAY

by Holly Karapetkova

There is a common phenomenon where adults exclaim they want to eat their young: “You are so cute I could just eat you up!” Scientific research suggests these aggressive remarks stem from one being completely overcome with emotion...
read more >

 

MURDER by DANIELLE COLLOBERT

December 25, 2014

FICTION
MURDER
by DANIELLE COLLOBERT

Review by Karen Bowles

Complex and haunting can describe both author Danielle Collobert and her first novel, Murder. Collobert saw much in her short life; the daughter of fighters in the French Résistance during World War II, she moved to Paris as a young woman before becoming a political exile in Italy due to her involvement in fighting for independence in Algeria... read more >

 

THE AMERICANS by DAVID RODERICK

December 12, 2014

The Americans by David Roderick

At the Height of Empire by Gareth Spark

With this collection, Mr. Roderick, whose first book of poems, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize, attempts to document the entirety of American life, both past and future, dream and bitter reality, in a remarkably lucid and, one could say almost Academic poetry...
read more >

 

SORROW by CATHERINE GAMMON

December 12, 2014

Sorrow by Catherine Gammon

Review by Mike Hampton

Catherine Gammon’s second novel Sorrow is a dense exploration of the interior lives of characters who exist on the brink. Readers are invited to enter the shattered life of Anita Palatino and connect the shards of her past, her present, and ultimately, her mind. They are asked to consider what choices they would make if they were immigrant refugees from a civil war who suddenly had to speak with the police... read more >

 

Put Your Hands In

October 26, 2014

POETRY
Put Your Hands In

by Chris Hosea

John Ashbery judged the 2013 Walt Whitman Award for the Academy of American Poets and it’s no wonder why he selected Chris Hosea’s collection as the winner. The poems create a different way of looking at people and things, infusing the New York School vibe of anti- and alternative-narrative throughout... read more >

 

I Think I Am in Friends-Love With You

October 20, 2014

Humor
I Think I Am in Friends-Love With You

by Yumi Sakugawa

Have you ever fallen in love with a friend? Not in a romantic way, of course. That might be weird. But maybe you have a super cool friend in your life. Someone who always knows about the best indie bands before anyone else has heard of them. Someone whose taste in art makes the world seem brighter... read more >

 

Third Wife by Jiri Klobouk

October 13, 2014

FICTION
Third Wife

by Jiri Klobouk

Jiri Klobouk’s Third Wife collects nine stories that have appeared in various Canadian and North American publications over the last thirty-seven years. The book is a curious amalgam of fiction, ranging from the brevity of “The Homecoming” to the lengthy story, “The Music Teacher"...
read more >

 

box of blue horses

November 06, 2014

box of blue horses

by Lisa Graley

Within the genre of nature poetry falls the small category of horse poems. The one outstanding poem in this niche is Joy Harjo’s anaphora-filled “She Had Some Horses,” in which the speaker references horses of all types, propelling forth metaphor and allusion... read more >

 

Review of Hilary Plum’s They Dragged Them Through the Streets

October 23, 2014

Review of Hilary Plum’s They Dragged Them Through the Streets

by Christopher Linforth

Hilary Plum’s debut novel, They Dragged Them Through the Streets, is perhaps the type of book that David Shields called for in his 2010 call-to-arms Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. Published by FC2—a stalwart of experimental fiction—Plum’s book offers a familiar form of experiment: the fragmented narrative... read more >

 

The Sleep of Reason

October 17, 2014

The Sleep of Reason

by Morri Creech

The Sleep of Reason is like a fantastic milkshake: Greedy readers who try to consume it quickly will end up with a headache, but those who pace themselves are in for a treat... read more >

 

American Neolithic

October 2, 2014

American Neolithic

by Terence Hawkins

In American Neolithic, Terence Hawkins has created an entirely possible and bleak near future where the US has traded civil liberties for the illusion of safety. Hawkins’s second novel has us fully entrenched in a police state in a terrifying portrayal of what could be if we took one step further, one misstep, if one dirty bomb went missing... read more >

 

The Hush before the Animals Attack

September 25th, 2014

The Hush before the Animals Attack

by Carol Matos

Carol Matos explores the multitude haunting pauses which rob language and make any spoken sentiment empty in her wonderful collection The Hush before the Animals Attack. The speakers in her collection do not reflect upon the chosen quiet instances in life, the deliberate silent states brought on by reflection or convention, but instead make vivid those vast in between spaces which singularly steal our voices in times of hurting or want, longing and memory... read more >

 

REGINA DERIEVA, IN MEMORIAM

September 18, 2014

REGINA DERIEVA, IN MEMORIAM

by Frederick Smock

The Russian-born poet Regina Derieva, who passed away several months ago, lived an intriguing life. In the old Soviet Union, Regina’s poetry earned her the disapproval of state authorities.The KGB kept tabs on her. She was accepted into the Union of Writers only upon the advent of glasnost, Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of ‘openness.’ ... read more >

 

The House Began to Pitch by Kelly Whiddon

September 11, 2014

The House Began to Pitch

by Kelly Whiddon

Kelly WHiddon’s debut collection, The House Began to Pitch, winner of the 2012 Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry, whittles to the root of the importance of story itself. Many of the poems are framed in fairytales both modern and historic... read more >

 

Hill William

August 28, 2014

Hill William

by Scott McClanahan

Scott McClanahan pulls no punches and makes no apologies. He doesn’t ask the reader to like him; he doesn’t placate or pander. He tells his story and, love it or hate it, by the time you’re done reading, you are sure to feel something... read more >

 

Seamus Heaney Aloft

August 12, 2014

Seamus Heaney Aloft

by Timothy Reilly

On the last Friday of August, 2013, I read the headline: Seamus Heaney dies. I have loved his poetry for years, and although I have never met him in the flesh, I feel as if I know him as a friend... read more >

 

The Bounteous World by Frederick Smock

August 8, 2014

The Bounteous World

by Frederick Smock

I’m seeking shelter from rain in a random bar where C-SPAN is blaring. I’m writing in an invisible raincoat. The United States Congress is voting whether or not to spit missiles into Syria. An abstention campaign is gaining steam because not having an opinion is chic... read more >

 

Going Down by Chris Campanioni

July 11, 2014

Going Down

by Chris Campanioni

Chris Campanioni’s ambitious debut novel, Going Down, tells the story of model and journalist, Chris Selden. Unsure of what to do post-college, Selden finds himself tempted into a world of popularity and commodification as a fashion model. He is ultimately consumed by his own spectacle... read more >

 

The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish

June 5, 2014

Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade

by Rob Cook

It has taken time to work out how to approach this review, as Mr. Cook's “lurking, indefinable country” is presented to us through a series of contrasting pieces, with sometimes unequal tone, that forbids any facile appraisal. Mr. Cook has titled his collection Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade and this overarching theme gathers disparate yet equally compelling poems... read more >

 

Review of The Day Judge Spencer Learned the Power of Metaphor

May 02, 2014

Review of The Day Judge Spencer Learned the Power of Metaphor

by Winnie Khaw

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About Winnie Khaw

Winnie Khaw aspires to create quality literary work, whether in poetry, creative nonfiction, or more questionably, fiction, and incidentally become astonishingly wealthy and adored by the world. Her work is featured in Magic Lantern Review, Empty Mirror Books, Passages North, Palooka Journal, The Philadelphia Review, Eclectica, The Daily Satire, etc. But mostly, Winnie spends her free time being silly...

From the opening poem the reader proceeds to unpack the morbidly entertaining contents of the “long, leathery, mottled man-luggage” (“Autopsy: Upon the Tamis Table”), a frightfully delicious description of a dead body about to autopsied by experts. Thankfully, Edlow’s actual work is lively and bright, evincing innovative humor... read more >

 

The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish

April 10, 2014

The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish

by Joshua Weiner

Where is the edge between poetry and history, between history and memory? Joshua Weiner's collection The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish, envisions poetry on a grand scale, a triptych of the title poem enveloped by the landscape panorama of “Rock Creek Park (II)” and the eye of “Cyclops.” If Walter Benjamin had written the expansive Arcades Project as a poem sequence, it might read like “Rock Creek (II).”... read more >

 

Review of Life Cycle Poems by Dena Rash Guzman

March 13, 2014

Review of Life Cycle Poems by Dena Rash Guzman

by Karen Bowles

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About Karen Bowles

Karen Bowles is the founder, publisher, and editor of the arts and cultural publication Luciole Press (www.luciolepress.com). She graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Literature and loves photography, theatre, sci-fi movies, and arguing with bossy blue jays. Find her at www.facebook.com/BowlesKaren.

Dena Rash Guzman offers up a most unusual palette in her new collection, Life Cycle Poems—none of the pages are numbered and all of the poems bear the title of "Life Cycle." It paints a most charming and cohesive path to follow down, with innumerable insights revealed as readers chart their journey through a landscape blessed with determination... read more >

 

Review of Saint X by Kirk Nesset by Christina M. Rau

February 27, 2014

Review of Saint X by Kirk Nesset

by Christina M. Rau

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About Christina M. Rau

Christina M. Rau is the founder of Poets In Nassau, a reading circuit on Long Island, NY and teaches English at Nassau Community College where she also serves as Editor for The Nassau Review and Coordinator for the Creative Writing Project. Her poetry has appeared most recently in the journals Temenos and Redheaded Stepchild, and her chapbook For The Girls, I will be published in 2014 by Dancing Girl Press. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga on occasion and line dances on other occasions.

Loss, sickness, searching, yearning, reaching for something to make sense of the world—these notions make up the common foundation of what it is to be human. Kirk Nesset’s Saint X follows a speaker through poems in three sections: I Will, I Will Not; The Collapse of the Heart is a Myth; Erasing the Shadow... read more >

 

Review of The Tide King by Jen Michalski

February 20, 2014

Review of The Tide King by Jen Michalski

by Natalie Sypolt

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About Natalie Sypolt

Natalie Sypolt lives and writes in West Virginia. She received an MFA in fiction from West Virginia University and currently teaches creative writing, literature, and composition. Her fiction and book reviews have appeared in Glimmer Train, Switchback, r.kv.r.y., Ardor Literary Magazine, Superstition Review, Paste, Willow Springs Review, and The Kenyon Review Online, among others. Natalie is the winner of the Glimmer Train New Writers Contest and the Betty Gabehart Prize. She also serves as a literary editor for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and is co-host of SummerBooks, a literary podcast.

Most of people spend their lives trying to figure out how to stay alive, how to squeeze every last drop out lives that seem all too short. It’s hard to imagine a lifetime that grows too long, and people who resent their inability to die. This is a central theme in Jen Michalski’s The Tide King, winner of The Big Moose Prize from Black Lawrence Press, which also investigates love, loss, and what it means to be human... read more >

 

Review of Jessica Treadway's Please Come Back to Me

June 4, 2013

Review of Jessica Treadway's Please Come Back to Me

by Tara Menon

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About Tara Menon

Tara Menon is a freelance writer based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Her book reviews have appeared in Na'amat Woman, Calyx, India Currents, Parabola, and Hinduism Today. Her poetry has been published in the following publications: Azizah Magazine; Aaduna; Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves; the view from here; and 10x3 plus poetry. Additional poems are forthcoming in Lalitamba, Damazine, and Cartys Poetry Journal. Tara's fiction has been published in the following journals and anthologies: Contemporary Literary Review India; Catamaran; The APA Journal; Elf: Eclectic Literary Forum; Many Mountains Moving; India Currents; The South Carolina Review; Living in America; and Mother of the Groom.

Jessica Treadway's second collection of short stories, Please Come Back to Me, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award, is not for those who seek fiction as a means of escape... read more >

 

Eve Asks by Christine Redman-Waldeyer

December 12, 2012

Eve Asks by Christine Redman-Waldeyer

by Christina Francine

Eve Asks is both the title of this collection of 35 poems and the title of a poem from the book. Redman-Waldeyer skillfully articulates, through her poem, Eve's predicament of being caged and profiles women's psyche while inside the cage... read more >