maybe the current generation is more sensitive, empathetic, or generally informed. but when i was a korean girl growing up in the whitest, most wealthy part of a conservative state, girls would dismiss their “weird” sisters with the quip that “she’s the adopted one.” even though she clearly wasn’t, as if it were the worstContinue reading “review: ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW by nicole chung”
true, i no longer have a bookstore. but—there’s nothing to say i can’t write a 2017 roundup anyway! here are some books & one-offs i have loved this year each book is linked to indiebound to purchase in yr city no indies near you? many of them ship! or there’s always yr local library ❤Continue reading “a year in reading”
This review was originally published at Plougshares on 8.15.17 Odd and delightful, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed By Applause is an artful character study, entertaining portrait, and comprehensive investigation of a great modern myth. full review here
This review was originally published at Ploughshares on 7.14.17 Let’s romanticize purple. Let’s use it when something is so maudlin that it becomes gaudy, to describe a thing that contains copious amounts of weltschmerz. Let’s have this consensus: purple is not the way you (should) want your work to be described. But there are times forContinue reading “review: STOMACHS by luna miguel (tr. luis silva)”
Sometimes being a poet means something inside you snaps, but not like a balloon too close to the ceiling. It bends and begs and burrows, and you, flailing like a sad firefly, break all the things you’re not supposed to break, trying to find it. You start with the things that keep you sane, andContinue reading “review: AN ARRANGEMENT OF SKIN by anna journey”
This review was originally published at Ploughshares on 3/9/17 Here’s a challenge: tell me a story, without knowing the beginning, middle, or the end. Now, tell it in your second language, or one where the handful of words you know transforms you back into a child. No, let’s say you are a child. Let’s sayContinue reading “review: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS by valeria luiselli”
This review was originally published at Ploughshares on 2/3/17 The trope with invoking the muses is that it is always a request. Whether it is pleading or demanding, pedantic or indignant, the epic tale is something owed. For her debut collection In Full Velvet, poet Jenny Johnson’s address begins with “Thank you,” and it isContinue reading “review: IN FULL VELVET by jenny johnson”
Grief, though, is neither defined by culture nor constrained by time.
The balance is a delicate one—how to speak about war, have a collection centered on war, that does not become repetitive?