Online Edition: Summer 2008

This is the COMPLETE Summer 2008 online edition of Rain Taxi.
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Kevin Goodan
The Fuel-Type of Poetry

—Interviewed by Kimberly Burwick

Adalet Ağaoğlu
Writing to Unite People

—Interviewed and translated by Figen Bingül


Posted in our First Installment

Mahmoud Darwish

Best known as the poet of Palestinian resistance, Mahmoud Darwish has a poetic range far wider than his politics. A book of collected essays explores this exiled poet’s work and life, while a new collection of Darwish’s poetry again shows his incredible resilience and attentiveness to the wonders of life. —Reviewed by Robert Milo Baldwin

Comica Erotica

Three coffee table books explore the erotic in comic book form.
—Reviewed by Paul Buhle

Posted in our Second installment

Chapbook Corner:
Keeping Creeley's Company

In this special online installment of our Chapbook Corner, Noah Eli Gordon discusses design, community, and collaboration through the lens of three recent chapbook releases.

From the Backlist:
Writings for the Oulipo
Ian Monk

Elected to the Oulipo in 1998, Monk is a master of the constricted form as well as an excellent translator of surrealist and Oulipo texts.
—Reviewed by Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle



Posted in our First Installment

Inseparable by Lewis Warsh
The Riot Act by Geoffrey Young
glad stone children by Edmund Berrigan

Despite their differences in age, lineage, and poetic temperament, these three poets, and especially these three new collections of their poetry, have much in common, and provide an exemplary overview of what’s happening at the cutting edge of avant-garde contemporary American poetry. —Reviewed by Mark Terrill

Modern Life
Matthea Harvey

Harvey’s surprising, intelligent, and mysterious poetry spurns the personal and turns often to the pun, to the non sequitur, and to mathematical double-meanings. —Reviewed by Wendy Vardaman

Dismal Rock
Davis McCombs

A sandstone formation in Edmonson County, Kentucky serves as the geographical and poetic locus of this impressive, regionally-inspired collection. —Reviewed by Kyle Churney

Posted in our Second installment

Kino: The Poetry of Nikola Vaptsarov
Nikola Vaptsarov

Vaptsarov, a Bulgarian poet executed by his country’s fascist government at age 32, strives to balance the personal and the public in his poetry. —Reviewed by George Kalamaras

Winners Have Yet to Be Announced
Ed Pavlic

Written as a response to the music of singer/songwriter Donny Hathaway, Pavlic’s third volume sketches Hathaway’s life while situating the musician and his work within the Black music continuum. —Reviewed by Michael A. Antonucci

The Age of Huts
Ron Silliman

Some of Silliman’s most innovative early writings are once again in print, offering a clearer picture of his ongoing life poem, Ketjak. —Reviewed by David Huntsperger

To and From
G.E. Patterson

In his newest collection, Patterson takes on the sonnet form, showing that even in its argumentative structure, there is much that cannot be resolved. —Reviewed by E. K. Mortenson


Posted in our First Installment

The Man Who Turned Into Himself by David Ambrose
The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounas

Each originally published 15 years ago, these riveting stories of alternate and alien worlds are well worth their restoration to print. —Reviewed by Kelly Everding

Dorothea Dieckmann

Guantanamo chronicles the transformation of Rashid, a German who, while vacationing in South Asia, is arrested and shipped to America’s most famous detention facility. — Reviewed by Spencer Dew

Johnny One-Eye
A Tale of the American Revolution
Jerome Charyn

This picaresque story follows the eponymous hero from his humble beginnings, born in a brothel in Manhattan, to his brush with greatness. — Reviewed by T. K. Dalton

Posted in our Second installment

Hoffman’s Hunger
Leon de Winter

Protagonist Felix Hoffman thinks about global unrest as he deals with his own myriad physical ailments, all while gorging himself on food and drink. —Reviewed by Kevin Carollo.

Hotel Crystal
Olivier Rolin

Rolin provides a brief glimpse into the life of an unreliable narrator living an unreliable life of the imagination from hotel room to hotel room. —Reviewed by Levi Teal

In Milton Lumky Territory
Philip K. Dick

Before Dick became a successful science fiction writer, he wrote realistic fiction in which characters struggle for the American Dream. —Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller

Gentleman Jigger
Richard Bruce Nugent

Written in the 1930s, this nervy novel speaks out on racism against darker-skinned blacks within the African American community and more. —Reviewed by Douglas Messerli


Posted in our First Installment

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant
Alexandra Fuller

Fuller turns her keen eye to greed and black gold with the heartbreaking story of a young man who grew up, lived, and suddenly died on the oil patch in western Wyoming. —Reviewed by Kevin Carollo

The Wounded Researcher
Research with Soul in Mind
Robert D. Romanyshyn

Anyone who reads more than a few pages of this book is by default someone interested in doing “re-search,” as Romanyshyn describes “the unfinished business in the soul of the work, the unsaid weight of history in the work that waits to be said.” —reviewed by Joel Weishaus

Wallace Stegner and the American West
Philip L. Fradkin

An award-winning California journalist takes on the large subject of the iconic Stegner, who grew up on the frontier in the early parts of the century and became one of the first teachers of creative writing in America. —Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller

Sacred Sea
A Journey to Lake Baikal
Peter Thomson

“Yikes!” is evidently an insufficient response to discovering that the deepest lake in the world, known also to be the purest, is undergoing alarming biochemical shifts in response to human activities. —Reviewed by Eliza Murphy

American Drama in the Age of Film
Zander Brietzke

Brietzke comprehensively and concretely parses out the idiomatic values of drama and film to show the former’s continued relevance in modern culture, while honoring the latter. —Reviewed by Justin Maxwell

Posted in our Second installment

Miami and the Siege of Chicago
An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968
Norman Mailer

In this fortieth anniversary reissue, we see a writer at the peak of his literary and journalistic talents, putting himself in direct relationship to the events of the day. —Reviewed by C. Natale Peditto

Big Enough to Be Inconsistent
Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race
George Fredrickson

Fredrickson, a pioneer of the comparative method of historical study, adeptly balances Lincoln as saintly anti-slavery advocate and racist. —Reviewed by Spencer Dew

Ravens in the Storm
A Personal History of the 1960s Anti-War Movement
Carl Oglesby

As a participating and presiding member, Oglesby relates the highs, the lows, and eventual destruction of the radicalized Students for a Democratic Society. —Reviewed by Robert Zaller

The Argument
Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics
Matt Bai

What new argument about government will drive American politics? This book chronicles Bai’s attempt to understand the new progressives and the ideas that motivate them. —Reviewed by Bob Hussey

Philosophers Without Gods
Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
Edited by Louise Antony

Antony brings together a collection of essays by people struggling to understand their place in the world without the crutch of religion, with mixed results. —Reviewed by Simon Waxman

The Animal Dialogues
Uncommon Encounters in the Wild
Craig Childs

Childs essays depict encounters with animals in the wild in likely and unlikely places, celebrating the resilience of life. —Reviewed by by Bob Hussey

The Life of the Skies
Jonathan Rosen

A rich and expansive meditation on birdwatching goes beyond binoculars to explore the philosophical and near religious exhilaration of communing with the birds. —Reviewed by Spencer Dew


Suburban World: The Norling Photos
Brad Zellar

Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes
Edited by Andrew Blauvelt

Two new art books find beauty in the bland and the mundane of American culture. —Reviewed by Deborah Karasov


Posted in our First Installment

A People’s History of American Empire
Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle

This graphic novel of Howard Zinn’s seminal A People’s History of the United States updates the information found in the original and features the historian as a narrator and witness to the atrocities committed in the name of American power. —Reviewed by Christopher Luna

Posted in our Second installment

Doom Patrol
Volumes 1-6
Grant Morrison, Richard Case, et al

Morrison is one of the most innovative writers of comics, and his idea-crammed virtues and vices can be seen in this superhero pastiche he wrote from 1989 through 1992. —Reviewed by Ken Chen


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