Online Edition: Spring 2012

Welcome to the SPRING 2012 Online Edition!
This edition is now complete.

Poetry | Art | Fiction | YA Fiction | NonFiction | Comics


Having written about the death of his father in his recent novel, Tanzer discusses the difference between writing fiction and memoir when dealing with grief.

Interviewed by Paula Bomer

Beat enthusiast and author Gerald Nicosia keeps vigilant about the upcoming Beat movie projects and what they say about current American culture.

Interviewed by Jonah Raskin

Waldman discusses her epic poem The Iovis Trilogy and how mythology, exploration of gender, and "dark trajectories forced the poem into being . . ."

Interviewed by Jim Cohn

Learn more about Lee Briccetti, Grace Cavalieri, Jane Ciabattari, and Noreen Tomassi, women who have devoted tireless hours to cultivating literary culture.

Interviewed by Daniela Gioseffi
Jim Harrison

When a writer writes equally well in more than one genre, it raises an interesting question: does the author’s sensibility predominate, or does the form? reviewed by Mark Gustafson


A mild winter didn't put a stop to this favorite winter art celebration.

Essay by Andy Sturdevant, with photographs by Katie Czarniecki Hill
Chapbook Corner

Two recent chapbooks from Ugly Duckling Presse show diversity of form, yet both are shot through with a peripheral but palpable nostalgia and a subtle, driving generosity. Reviewed by E. Marie Bertram

Marina Blitshteyn

Russian for Lovers is a lyric-romantic in a tremulously innocent Russian vein, and plain-spoken modernist in another. Reviewed by Vladislav Davidzon

Mary Biddinger

Biddinger reimagines the patron saint of abuse victims, alcoholics, housewives, and mothers as a 20th-century Catholic girl with domestic troubles looming. Reviewed by Roxanne Halpine Ward

Reviews: Poetry
j/j hastain
John Martone

Two books of visual poetry combine text and pictures to create a spiritually charged manifestation of self, body, and technology. Reviewed by Jen Besemer

Zhai Yongming

Zhai Yongming, China’s pre-eminent contemporary woman poet, combines the subject matter of indeterminacy, social change, and womanhood to create one relentless strong poetic expression. Reviewed by Lucas Klein

Donald Hall

In his sixteenth collection of poems, Donald Hall balances joy and sadness in his inimitable self-skewering style. Reviewed by James Naiden

Karen Rigby

The poems of Chinoiserie are ornate, filled with beautiful and uncommon words and imbued with influences from many different cultures and places. Reviewed by Rebecca Farivar

Peter Gizzi

Resonant with forebears as formidable as Hawthorne, Emerson, and Whitman, Peter Gizzi's latest poems linger at the threshold of "How to live. / What to do." Reviewed by M. D. Snediker

Martín Espada

As a noted heir to Whitman, Martín Espada offers a poetry of the body, where national character and spiritual truth reside. Reviewed by J. D. Schraffenberger

Reviews: Art
Charles Russell

Russell’s new book views outsider art as an evolving field whose very nonconformist ideals capture the individual spirit and drive of all great art. Reviewed by Eliza Murphy

Emily McVarish

In this remarkable artists book, McVarish explores the space of a book through its relations to cityscapes. Reviewed by Afton Wilky

Reviews: Comics
Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield

An extended meditation on power, adolescence, and community, Ellis and Duffield’s FreakAngels is thick with melancholy and fear. Reviewed by Woody Evans

Reviews: Fiction
Susan Sherman

Sherman’s debut historical novel charts a Russian girl’s journey from Moscow back to her provincial hometown. Reviewed by Malcolm Forbes

Thomas P. Balázs

Despite the sci-fi-sounding title, this collection of character-driven stories takes you into the final frontier of human behavior. Reviewed by Weston Cutter

Chan Koonchung

This much-touted, recently translated Chinese thriller demonstrates how aesthetics struggle when put up against political righteousness. Reviewed by Lucas Klein

Ben Marcus

A story so strange we asked two reviewers to tackle it! Ben Marcus's The Flame Alphabet imagines a dystopia where language is toxic. Reviewed by Robert M. Detman and Laird Hunt

Stephen King

If you’ve been waiting for a less-gory opportunity to enjoy one of the most prolific scribes of the last half-century, there’s never been a better time than now. Reviewed by G. A. Rozen


IIt’s been 25 years since the publication of Stephen King’s It, and this monster story isn’t any less terrifying. Reviewed by Tony Magistrale

Matt Ruff

Matt Ruff's new novel The Mirage is so topsy-turvy, we asked two separate reviewers to take it on. Read their perspectives on this imagined alternate history where Christian terrorists attack twin towers in Baghdad on 11/9/01. Reviewed by Nathaniel Forsythe and Marjorie Hakala

Reviews: Young Adult Fiction
Brian Selznick

In Wonderstruck, Selznick deftly pairs art and words in a complex and compelling tale of museums, silence, language, and family. Reviewed by Roxanne Halpine Ward

Sonya Hartnett

In The Midnight Zoo, three refugees from a brutal war seek shelter and understanding among the caged animals of an abandoned zoo. Reviewed by Kelly Everding

Reviews: Nonfiction
edited by Leah Price

Here’s a great opportunity for the curious and the voyeuristic alike to inspect the libraries of some famous writers. Surprises abound . . . Reviewed by Jeff Bursey

Bill Morgan

Renowned Beatologist Bill Morgan’s latest contribution to Beat mania is this handsomely designed Atlas, which is meant to be a reference, not the be-all of Beat lore. Reviewed by Graziano Krätli

Phil Zuckerman
Owen Flanagan

Two books show how developing or locating a workable worldview for oneself is a fundamental human responsibility. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

Jeffrey Greene

Part nature study, cultural enquiry, and personal history, poet Jeffrey Greene’s The Golden-Bristled Boar sets out to explore the wild boars of Burgundy. Reviewed by Linda Lappin

Carl W. Ernst

Ernst approaches the Qur’an as a human work rooted in history, rather than as divine revelation. Reviewed by Spencer Dew

Sage Cohen

Cohen’s The Productive Writer is generous, comprehensive, pragmatic, and optimistic, coming from a writer’s life lived honestly and unromantically. Reviewed by Marj Hahne

Robert Grudin

Grudin leads the reader on an intellectual romp, exploring and comparing vastly different aspects of design across centuries and cultures. Reviewed by Mason Riddle

Sean O'Sullivan

In the latest volume of the Contemporary Film Directors series, O’Sullivan articulately probes into the links between Leigh’s films. Reviewed by Scott Bryan Wilson

Wayne Koestenbaum

Koestenbaum provides an unequivocally valuable social, historical, and philosophical meditation on the pleasures and conundrums of disgrace. Reviewed by Jens Tamang

Sarah E. Truman

In search for enlightenment on a journey through China, Truman lets the Bodhisattva of Compassion guide her on a path of self-discovery. Reviewed by Emily Walz

Alastair M. Johnston
Kevin Power

Two interview collections centered on book arts present a broadly engaging view of the American small press poetry scene from the 1950s onward. Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan

George Steiner
Catherine D. Chatterley

This review looks at Steiner’s new work on the interlocked nature of poetic language and philosophical thought, along with a new study on Steiner’s life and work. Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger

Margaret A. Harrell

Much like Hunter S. Thompson, Keep This Quiet! is noisy, sensual, and word-drunk. Reviewed by W. C. Bamberger

June Skinner Sawyers

No decent Dylan-head should wander the streets of lower Manhattan without this bio-travel guide. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

Juan Luis Cebrián

As one of the founders of Spain’s El Pais, Cebrián claims the future of newspapers is endangered by compromising truth for sales. Reviewed by John Toren

Miles White

White thinks we need to look farther back if we’re going understand the complex relationships between race and music in this country. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

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