Human Hours by Catherine Barnett

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Poetry No comments
As Barnett unfolds for readers the hours of a particular human life, she simultaneously asks readers to examine their own hours.

Wisława Szymborska’s Influence on Poetry

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Poetry, Polish poet Wisława Szymborska contends, is the operative exercise of not knowing.

The Role of Images in Teju Cole’s Blind Spot

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
As is painting, so is poetry: the connection between the two cannot be denied, but its nature and significance have been heavily debated. Is poetry a verbal painting? Is painting silent poetry?

A Defense of Writerly Obsessions

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Every writer has obsessions. These range from overarching themes, like the exploration of Jewish identity that characterizes many a Philip Roth novel, to extremely, sometimes bizarrely, specific motifs. Where some would criticize this repetition as a dearth of original ideas, such lifelong attempts to work through fixations can be

Self-Education in Tara Westover’s Educated

The first time Westover heard about the Holocaust, she was seventeen years old and in her first semester of college. Sitting in a lecture, she sees the unfamiliar word under an image in her textbook. “I don’t know this word,” she tells her professor. “What does it mean?”

Reading the Body in Second Person

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The works of Daisy Johnson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie demand a close look at the inherent sense of intimacy within the second-person perspective, forcing us to consider how we read the body in this mode of storytelling.

When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Poetry No comments
Readers must view Dawson's book-length poem from an intersectional lens—regarding the impact on the narrative voices of the white gaze, the male gaze, and the gaze of the self—in order to fully experience its nuances.

Worker by Gary Hawkins, The Boss by Victoria Chang, and the Exploration of Work in Poetry

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
If Hawkins’s workers struggle with their materials or the limits of their strength and stamina, Chang reveals a different antagonist through the figure of the boss, firing workers at will and propping up the corporation.

The Alchemy of Science and Storytelling

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
As a writer and botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves lyric storytelling with science, gleaned from both Western institutions and the indigenous wisdom of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to which she belongs.

Grief and Transformation in Han Kang’s The White Book

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Over the course of the fragmented, deeply imagistic book (which Kang has described as a narrative poem), whiteness expands beyond solid objects into concepts and sensations, its every iteration part of an adjacent world in which her sister is not dead and it is she, instead, who is absent.