Online Edition: SUMMER 2009

Welcome to the Summer 2009 Online Edition

Click here to join our mailing list and be informed
of upcoming issues and events.


The Seven Beauties and Science Fiction
an interview with critic Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.

by Matthew Cheney

Poet and Polemicist: Jerome Rothenberg
Interview with Jerome Rothenberg
by Sarah Suzor
Review of Poetics & Polemics and Poems for the Millennium Volume Three
by Harry Polkinhorn

Skin and Ink
an interview with Catherynne M. Valente

Poet turned fantasy novelist inks an erotic story about Palimpsest, a city
that knows what you’ve been doing. by William Alexander

Turning on Shakespeare
an interview with John Reed

by Finn Harvor


Enid Dame’s Householdry

The poetry of Enid Dame (1943-2003) has long been prized among feminists and those involved in Jewish cultural studies. Here’s why. Essay by Burt Kimmelman

On The Road Regained

Jack Kerouac’s 120-foot typescript scroll of On the Road travels the world these days, much the object of adoration, as if it were a relic of the true cross—if not the cross itself. Essay by C. Natale Peditto

Or To Begin Again
Ann Lauterbach

Ann Lauterbach’s latest collection ravishes in the geometrical, in geometry’s attempt to make sense of time. Reviewed by Michael D. Snediker

Second Violins
edited by Marco Sonzogni

On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of Mansfield’s birth, Sonzogni invited seventeen leading New Zealand authors to produce new stories riffing off the beginning paragraphs of Mansfield’s short story fragments. Reviewed by Linda Lappin



Asta in the Wings
Jan Elizabeth Watson

This debut novel relates the remarkably imaginative and heartbreaking story of a seven-year-old girl. Reviewed by Jaspar Lepak

Walk the Blue Fields
Claire Keegan

A pervasive melancholy rips through the hearts and minds of the characters in this Irish author’s new collection of stories. Reviewed by Salvatore Ruggiero

The Reason for Crows
A Story of Kateri Tekawitha
Diane Glancy

Glancy seeks to flesh out the complicated relationship between the European colonizers and the native peoples of North America in her latest work of historical fiction. Reviewed by Emy Farley

My Life at First Try
Mark Budman

This semi-autobiographical work of fiction straddles the space between the short-story cycle and the novel, with its essential unities of character and plot. Reviewed by Bob Sommer

Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters
John Langan

Before you sit down to read this intense collection of horror stories, lock your doors, check under the bed, and take a deep breath. Reviewed by Charlie Broderick

He Flies through the Air with the Greatest of Ease
A William Saroyan Reader
edited by William E. Justice

For Saroyan, art was an escape from death, and this new Reader may once again grant him another spate of immortality. Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller

We Agreed to Meet Just Here
Scott Blackwood

Winner of the 2007 AWP Award Series in the Novel, Scott Blackwood’s first novel tells the story of a small Texas town and the mystery of the lives that intersect there. Reviewed by Jaspar Lepak

Me and Kaminski
Daniel Kehlmann

An art journalist must tag along with a has-been artist, Kaminski, hoping to ride his fading coattails to his own modicum of success. Reviewed by Eric Iannelli


Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays
Eula Biss

Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, Biss’s essays explore and confront all the no man’s lands in our country. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

Conquest of the Useless
Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
Werner Herzog

Perhaps not surprisingly, the story of making the film Fitzcarraldo is as insane as its plot. Reviewed by Scott Bryan Wilson

Ancient Shore
Dispatches from Naples
Shirley Hazzard and Francis Steegmuller

In her beautifully written apologia for Naples, Hazzard differentiates between merely traveling to another country and a stay of pilgrimage. Reviewed by Douglas Messerli

Jan Kerouac: A Life in Memory
edited by Gerald Nicosia

An assemblage of first-person narratives remembering the only daughter of Jack Kerouac. Reviewed by Mark Spitzer

The Yambo Ouologuem Reader
Yambo Ouologuem
translated and edited by Christopher Wise

This Reader collects new translations of three of Ouologuem’s most controversial works, taking on the complicated myths and realities of African history. Reviewed by Spencer Dew

Reason, Faith, and Revolution
Terry Eagleton

A renowned literary theorist is tired of atheists rejecting Christianity as a whole rather than approaching it systematically. Reviewed by Emy Farley

The Customer Is Always Wrong
edited by Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin collects twenty-one retail worker perspectives that come down unnecessarily hard on consumers strolling in to conduct capitalist business-as-usual. Reviewed by Sarah Salter

On Moving
Louise DeSalvo

Through a close examination of an impressive array of writers and thinkers, DeSalvo explores the “emotional and physical consequences” of the human experience of relocation. Reviewed by Suzann Clemens


Prairie Style
C. S. Giscombe

The final book in a four-part series, Prairie Style continues Giscombe’s nomadic exploration into place. Reviewed by Paula Koneazny

Language For a New Century
Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond

Six years in the making, this expansive and impressive anthology brings together over 400 poets from over 60 countries writing in over 40 different languages—all translated into English. Reviewed by Craig Santos Perez

Coeur de Lion
Ariana Reines

Summarizing Reines’s Coeur de Lion wouldn’t do this thoughtful book justice—it might sound too much like a soap opera for the hip intelligentsia. Reviewed by Megan Pugh

Mainline to the Heart and Other Poems
Clive Matson

Originally published in 1966, these poems illustrate the power of the imaginative terrain opened by the original Beats in the mid-1950s. Reviewed by Tim Hunt

Memory Glyphs
Radu Andriescu, Iustin Panta and Cristian Popescu

A wildly roving narrative sensibility and the ability to render surreal images with poignancy and humor is a shared distinction in the work of these three contemporary Romanian prose poets. Reviewed by Stephan Delbos

Poetry State Forest
Bernadette Mayer

Like rutted footpaths, the poems coiling through Mayer’s newest collection steers readers into the scrubby undergrowth. Reviewed by Todd Pederson

Ohio Violence
Alison Stine

The world of Ohio Violence is rife with grief, bewilderment, and longing, but there’s no lack of the immediate experience of living life in a physical body. Reviewed by Erin M. Bertram

Ins and Outs of the Forest Rivers
Nathaniel Tarn

In these rhythmic and stirring poems, Tarn continues to explore nature and the ramifications of human neglect and destruction. Reviewed by John Herbert Cunningham


An Oresteia
Anne Carson

Although the first sentence of the book is “Not my idea to do this,” Carson presents unique translations of three Greek tragedies. Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger


Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!
Scott Morse

Replacing himself with an adorable cartoon tiger in his autobiographical graphic novel Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!, author/artist Scott Morse attempts to reconcile the responsibilities of adulthood with his own vivid and often distracting imagination. Reviewed by Adam Hall

Pascal Blanchet

A tragic fable by a Quebecois cartoonist, Baloney reimagines the limitations of sequential art and creates a distinctive, media-bending experience. Reviewed by Donald Lemke


Thanks for reading the Summer 2009 online edition. Want to find out when our next posting is available? Join our mailing list and we'll keep you in the know!


Search the Rain Taxi website with Google