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Reviews & Interviews

Oyster Perpetual

June 14, 2011
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When charm works, the connection established between individuals is palpable.

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The Beautiful Pool Is Empty

June 6, 2011
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Michael Montlack’s new poem collection Cool Limbo, for starters, looks really cool before it’s even opened.

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Ben Fama’s NEW WAVES

June 2, 2011
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Being “timeless” isn’t about removing the contemporary but about writing a good poem.

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Stories Within Stories Within Stories Within…

May 23, 2011
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Okay! Fine. Tea Obreht is a veritable prodigy, and The Tiger’s Wife is uncannily good. Most (no, all) reviewers, as well as the likes of Colum McCann, TC Boyle, and Ann Patchett, say no less. But this novel is not just good for a twenty-five year old. Most of us would kill to kill it like she does.

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Quiet Anthem

May 17, 2011
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Cursivism, Will Hubbard’s slim, debut volume of prose poems published by Ugly Duckling Presse, begins with a simple piece of advice that may be one of the most challenging charges facing anyone who is trying to figure out how to live, “just let it happen.”

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Will Alexander’s Compression & Purity

May 4, 2011
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Certainly postmodern works has blurred generic boundaries, but Alexander seems to be showing, in an almost Pynchon-like way, that even the nuances of specialized language can be conscripted and subsumed into a larger poetic utterance.

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David Foster Wallace’s Open-Ended End Game

May 2, 2011
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Wallace over the years was most interested in narratives of suffering. Boredom (so closely linked to the problem of addiction, which he addressed in Infinite Jest) is one such type, and it takes center stage in his last book, an unfinished project published under the title The Pale King.

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Matthew Rohrer’s Destroyer and Preserver

April 18, 2011
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If you’d told me that the ultimate line of a wonderful poem could be, simply, “Doctor Wong,” I would’ve looked at you skeptically.

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Indie Bookstores: Vancouver

April 15, 2011
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But how to discern which to visit, on my limited conference schedule and lack of motorized transport? Our decided upon method was a combination of combing the neighborhoods that we already wanted to see, and tossing a net around the area of our hotel.

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Indie Bookstores: Kramerbooks

April 4, 2011
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I indulge fantasies of ownership, lament the limited capacity of my wallet and shelf space to accommodate all the books I want. But I gird myself and leave with nothing, happy to have looked, touched, but saved myself again.

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The Wonderful Burden of Living: A Review of Milan Djordjevic’s Oranges and Snow

March 28, 2011
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Djordjevic’s history of survival through political unrest and cruel accident made an impression on me before I read his work. But I had to learn to stand in each poem as if I were on an island.

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Kevin Young’s Ardency

March 23, 2011
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It’s Kevin Young’s least personal book so far, but in many ways that allows him to approach those same emotions within the book’s historical characters from a more objective stance.

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Indie Bookstores: Busboys and Poets

March 22, 2011
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Since I moved into my current house off of Kennedy street in Northwest last summer, Busboys and Poets, located just down 14th Street in the vibrant U Street corridor, has become an increasingly frequented spot. The bookstore/bar/restaurant is a cultural bastion for the bookishly inclined across the usually stark cultural divide in Washington, and the prevalent African American themes create a unique flavor not found at Kramers or Politics and Prose.

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Voices of the Fourth Generation

March 8, 2011
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The translated poems seem more interested in criticizing Chinese society than aesthetic expression. In spite of these issues, the translators should be respected for their down-to-earth choice of the poems.

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Tall Poetry: James Copeland’s To My Plants

March 4, 2011
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James Copeland is a tall man, who rides a tall bike, drinks tall drinks, and writes tall poetry.

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Stirring of consciousness, awakening of reason

February 28, 2011
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Thin Kimono is a book of mistaken identities: a hallucinogenic wandering through a cocktail party the night before the invention of the internet. The party is populated with individuals you may or may not know. Your wife is a slightly altered version of herself.

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