Reviews & Interviews

The Beautiful Pool Is Empty

by Lonely Christopher Poetry and Poetics
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Michael Montlack’s new poem collection Cool Limbo, for starters, looks really cool before it’s even opened.

Ben Fama’s NEW WAVES

by Bianca Stone Poetry and Poetics
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Being “timeless” isn’t about removing the contemporary but about writing a good poem.

Stories Within Stories Within Stories Within…

by Brian Chappell Fiction
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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.

Quiet Anthem

by Genevieve Burger-Weiser Poetry and Poetics
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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.”

Will Alexander’s Compression & Purity

by Brooks Lampe Poetry and Poetics
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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.

David Foster Wallace’s Open-Ended End Game

by Brian Chappell Fiction
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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.

Matthew Rohrer’s Destroyer and Preserver

by Evan Hansen Poetry and Poetics
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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.

Indie Bookstores: Vancouver

by Brian Chappell Reviews & Interviews
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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.

Indie Bookstores: Kramerbooks

by Brian Chappell Fiction
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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.

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

by Genevieve Burger-Weiser Poetry and Poetics
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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.

Kevin Young’s Ardency

by Levi Rubeck Poetry and Poetics
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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.

Indie Bookstores: Busboys and Poets

by Brian Chappell Reviews & Interviews
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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.

Voices of the Fourth Generation

by Jonathan Wei Poetry and Poetics
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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.

Tall Poetry: James Copeland’s To My Plants

by Levi Rubeck Film and TV
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James Copeland is a tall man, who rides a tall bike, drinks tall drinks, and writes tall poetry.

Stirring of consciousness, awakening of reason

by Martin Rock Poetry and Poetics
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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.

The Actual Voice of Someone Else: Philip Levine’s “News of the World”

by Evan Hansen Poetry and Poetics
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News of the World certainly offers some typical-feeling moves to those familiar with Levine’s oeuvres, it also contains formal variations and preoccupations that will amuse and surprise both his admirers and those who don’t yet know his work.

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