This month, I read work from both genderqueer and transgender writers. Inspired by recent tweets, blog posts, and press releases supporting works by these writers, it seemed a good opportunity to spotlight these three chapbooks.
This month, I read three award-winning chapbooks—which happen all to have been written by women.
Whereas Layli Long Soldier Graywolf; March 7, 2017 120 pp; $16 Buy: paperback Few Americans seem to know much about the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz, and fewer still are acquainted with the Occupation’s “Proclamation,” a masterful document that deploys the language, diction, and vocabulary of unfair treaties and paternalism
For her debut collection In Full Velvet, poet Jenny Johnson's address begins with “Thank you,” and it is radical, as if a muse might peer over the edge of her throne and say, “My, those are words I have not heard for some time.”
Monica Youn’s poems are precise, sharp-edged and fleet-footed; they always seem to be moving in three different directions at once. She is the author of three books of poems: Blackacre, Barter, and Ignatz, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. A former attorney, she now teaches
When I came in for a chicken pox shot, my mother mentioned to Dr. William Eric Williams that she could recite one of his father’s poems from memory. “Let’s hear it,” he said.
DoubleCross Press makes gorgeous letter press chapbooks. But these aren’t just pretty faces; it’s what’s on the inside—poetry, poetics and "prose-ish" pieces—that counts. This month, I review three of them.
“I was a house. / I was a witch” declares the middle stanza of Muriel Leung’s “A House Fell Down on All of Us” from the newest issue of DRUNKEN BOAT. This poem, in my reading, functions to present intermingling transformations that perform whatever an opposite of distillation forecloses.
When Donika Kelly's debut collection of poetry, Bestiary, was released barely one month ago, it came as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and a long-listed nominee for the 2016 National Book Award. From page one, it's obvious why.
Remarkably, Lucinda seems both composition exercise and confession (“once again the text finds itself / helplessly stuck between two distinct / critical foci, pinioned”), as unclassifiable and as exciting as the more than 200-year-old book that inspired it.