Author Archive

T-Shirts, Deportation, and the Epiphanies of Clemens Meyer in Mexico City

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What is new and what is vestigial? What trauma is passed down and what trauma can be left behind? While some might consider Texas a kind of photo negative of the former East Germany, I think of those two states as simulacrum in many ways.

The Country Inside Your Skin: Reading Old Rendering Plant in the Alamo City

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The Alamo is a physical manifestation of Stasi-like doublespeak, a celebration of white mediocrity, white insularity, and the deep need to claim victory at all costs despite thorough defeat—a strategy for decentering truth not unlike the modus operandi of the Trump administration or its lackeys.

The Poetics of Directness in D. F. Brown’s Ghost of a Person Passing in Front of the Flag

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The veneer that is language is a major recurring trope in D. F. Brown’s newest collection. What is real and what is imagined through the filter of language? How might that affect the way we process an event?

Trauma and Humanity in Lion Cross Point

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Girding Masatsugu Ono’s novel is what seems to be a single question: Does family (or community) exist without trauma? 

Inking Well: An Interview With Jasminne Mendez

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If you’re at all alive in the Houston arts scene, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Jasminne Mendez in one of her capacities: as a poet, as an actor, as an educator, as a podcast host, or as a community organizer and programmer (sometimes all of these things in

What We Talk About When We Talk About Humanizing People In Literature

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In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision ruling that immigrants, documented or not, can be detained indefinitely without right to a bond hearing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we produce and consume narratives about class and race in contemporary American literature.

Cultural Legibility in America’s Dark Chapter

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What does it mean to be culturally legible? And what does cultural legibility mean with regard to writing about or from within one’s own culture?

Can Twitter Make Trauma Generic? And If So, What Should We Do About It?

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As a writer, I've been thinking about the importance of our trauma—the needle-pushing trauma of the #MeToo movement, of the interrogation of "post-truth," of the existential crisis necessary for confronting something like climate change, or the stories beyond the body counts of the drug war in Mexico.

Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections: Identity in a Post-Truth Era

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It’s perhaps because of the invisible currents that inform "post-truth" that I’m finding myself reading and rereading Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections, which is hands down my favorite book of 2017.

Reading Baldwin after Harvey: Why Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue

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Of course, the circumstances between Hurricane Harvey and the 1943 Harlem riots are different, but the fault lines exposed by those events are not.