essays Archive

“Without Any Agenda Except to Pay Close Attention”: An Interview with Marianne Boruch

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Marianne Boruch’s poems delve into the quirks and oddities of our daily lives. We caught up at the end of a busy semester (or maybe it was the start of a new one) to talk about how poems happen, how books come together, and the quiet rituals of her

The Beauty of Self-deprecation in Andrew Miller’s IF ONLY THE NAMES WERE CHANGED

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Fasten your seat belts. Andrew Miller’s alternative lit style is about to take you on a bumpy ride. His memoir in essays, IF ONLY THE NAMES WERE CHANGED, vacillates between hyper-masculine and tender in terrain that traverses parental concerns about raising a daughter, drug and alcohol abuse, and how

The Art of the Twitter Essay

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Twitter is maybe one of the most ideal places to watch a draft shape itself into a finished essay—a public place for us to learn the bones.

Githa Hariharan Talks Indian Femme Fatales and Politics

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A collection of essays, Almost Home is a wonderland of hybrid techniques. It contains post-colonial insight that goes beyond India and keeps readers coming back for more—more labyrinthine story lines, more social commentary, more pro-woman eroticism.

Review: A BESTIARY by Lily Hoang

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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 to the other side.

Review: SUBLIME PHYSICK by Patrick Madden

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When reading Sublime Physick, the yin-yang symbol comes to mind, as Madden cites academic thinkers and essayists from generations past, alongside contemporary popular icons, usually of the musical variety, specifically his personal favorites like John Lennon and Geddy Lee.

Review: TRACE: MEMORY, HISTORY, RACE, & THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE by Lauret Edith Savoy

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Reading nature writing is second in transformative joy only to being in nature. That joy is slippery in Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Edith Savoy, where moments of sublimity are often punctuated by cruelty and alienation.

Morphology of the Essay: Ander Monson, Claudia Rankine, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, & Maggie Nelson

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According to Wikipedia, a keystone is “used figuratively to refer to a central element of a larger structure […] that locks the other elements in place and allows the whole to be self-supporting.” With a stone archway, the form is inherent, or predetermined. First, there is the abutment, then

Review: THE CITY AT THREE PM: WRITING, READING, AND TRAVELING by Peter LaSalle

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The City at Three PM: Writing, Reading, and Traveling Peter LaSalle Dzanc Books, December 15 2015 280 pp; $15.95 Buy paperback We read travel writers for a variety of reasons, but often it is for the vicarious thrill of the journey, somewhat akin to schadenfreude in that we can

THE NEUTRAL CORNER: Michael Hofmann’s “Where Have You Been?” And Gottfried Benn’s “Impromptus”

The neutral corner is one of the two corners of the ring not used by boxers between rounds. It is also the corner a boxer must retreat to after he has floored his opponent. The Neutral Corner was also a bar in Saratoga Springs, New York, that I frequented