Book Reviews Archive

Poetry Week: Deep Field

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Deep Field Philip Gross Bloodaxe Books, November 2011 64 pages $21.95 Deep Field, by T. S. Eliot Prize-winner Philip Gross, charts the slow loss of the author’s father, John, to aphasia, an irreversible decline in the brain’s language faculties. Gross’s father, who once knew five languages, has lost his

Not Unlike…

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The Other Poems Paul Legault Fence Books, November 2011 72 pages $15.95 Editor’s note: P. Scott Stanfield holds a Ph.D. in English and teaches literature at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Recently, I challenged him to see how many references to other works and artists he could make in a single

Women in Trouble: The Vanishers

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The Vanishers: A Novel Heidi Julavits Doubleday, March 2012 304 pages Shortly after Julia Severn, the heroine of Heidi Julavits’s fourth novel, drops out of the Institute of Integrated Parapsychology—or, “the Workshop,” an insular monoculture of clairvoyant parlor games, Fair Isle sweaters, and home-brewed tea—she is enlisted by a

The Ploughshares AWP Book Review Competition

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There won’t be any book reviews on the blog this week, mostly because we think you should all be at AWP in Chicago instead, buying—and attending readings of—as many books as you can. More importantly, though, if you happen to be at AWP, make sure you also take some

Blurbese: “unflinching”

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I think a lot of book reviewers were smacked as children. Some of them must have at least been bullied. How else to explain their admiration for the ability not to flinch? Just look at the first page of results when you Google “unflinching book review.” At the British

The Last Holiday

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The Last Holiday Gil Scott-Heron Grove Press, January 2012 384 pages $25.00 “The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you’re livin’ and the way you move.” —1991 We remember him as the bluesologist, the godfather