Book Reviews Archive

In Bookstores Near You: THE BLACK MARIA by Arcelis Girmay

I found Aracelis Girmay’s the black maria in a month filled with keen grief and anger, the unshakable kind that only follows a tragedy like Orlando or the loss of a loved one so paramount to your life that afterward people driving in their cars, just going about their

Review: A BESTIARY by Lily Hoang

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A Bestiary  Lily Hoang Cleveland State University Poetry Center, April 2016 156 pp; $16 Buy: paperback Not all rat mazes have corridors. For the Morris water navigation task, it is as it reads: a rat must learn to fare in water. It is placed inside a pool and must swim

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Citizen Khan” by Kathryn Schulz

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It is a good thing that Kathryn Schulz’s “Citizen Khan” was published in The New Yorker, because it is so eerily textbook perfect a piece of longform feature writing that had it come through a lesser fact-checking department, I might have worried some of the details were made up.

Writ in Water: Yellow Not Mellow

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A sight now common across California: the yellow toilet bowl. Conscientiously curated, it’s a light shade of daffodil, lemon, banana; this is early in the lifespan, the visitors before you healthy and drinking plenty of water. If less lucky, you lift the lid on honey or medallion, yellows migrating

Mexican Indigeneous

It might be considered anathema to our neighbors south of the Rio Grande but Phoneme Media is having a veritable publishing celebration of indigenous Mexican poetry. This small, indie publisher with one of the coolest catalogues of world lit understands what Anthony Seidman wrote recently in World Literature Today

Notes on the State of Virginia: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Queries VII, VIII, and IX

This is the fifth installment of a year-long journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. ** Query VII: A notice of all that can increase the progress of human knowledge Query VIII: The number of its inhabitants Query IX: The number and condition of the militia

Review: THE CHILDREN by Ann Leary

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The Children Ann Leary St. Martin’s Press, May 2016 256 pp; $26.99 Buy: hardcover | eBook When I recently entered Ann Leary’s, The Good House, I found myself enjoying some of the quirkiest, most human, and authentically rendered company in Leary’s characters, each of which inspired me to get

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Nikki Wallschlaeger’s “Blues for A Bar So Low That It Became a Cage”

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Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of the collection Houses and the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel, two arrangements that undercut artifice and underline activation energies. This month, I dove into one of her new poems from the most recent incarnation of The Journal Petra,

Review: SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN, YOU’LL SEE by Christos Ikonomou

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Something Will Happen, You’ll See Christos Ikonomou, translated by Karen Emmerich Archipelago Books, March 2016 250 pp; $18 Buy: paperback Christos Ikonomou’s Something Will Happen, You’ll See is a collection of stories focused on the men and women of Piraeus, a port city in Greece. Though Ikonomou’s characters are

“It all started when I began writing through masks”: An Interview with Tomás Q. Morín

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Tomás Q. Morín’s first book of poems, A Larger Country, won the APR/Honickman Prize and was runner-up for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. It’s a collection that brings together a series of different times, places and characters (both historical and imagined) into a new world all its own, one that