Spring 2020

INTERVIEWS

Money is a Country: An Interview with Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven author Emily St. John Mandel discusses her new novel, The Glass Hotel, which is partly based on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Interviewed by Allan Vorda.

All and Always Balance
Kyle Harvey and Jeff Alessandrelli in Conversation

Two poets discuss their work, their community, integrity of self, and the challenges of being a creator in this world.

STORIES OF SELF

Ongoing Arguments with Sarah Manguso
by Scott F. Parker
The river of narrative time isn’t the water but the movement: Sarah Manguso delves into the value of the diary in the final installment of Stories of Self.

Twilight of the Selves: A Walk with David Shields
by Scott F. Parker
Take a walk with the polyvocal David Shields in this, the second in a three-part author conversation series called Stories of Self.

Skepticism and Charitability: A Coffee with Dessa
by Scott F. Parker
We are pleased to present a three-part author conversation series, Stories of Self. Today’s subject is "the Bertrand Russell of hip-hop" herself, Dessa.

FEATURES

The Riches of Kazakh Literature, Part Two: Poetry
by Timothy Walsh
Kazakh poetry is not something new on the world stage; even though it has not gotten the recognition it deserves in the West, it is a poetry with deep roots that predates the founding of the United States by a millennium or so.

The Riches of Kazakh Literature, Part One: Fiction
by Timothy Walsh
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a few Kazakh writers were “discovered” by the West—but this only scratched the surface of the deep literary ore running through this storied crossroads of the world.

Reflections on The Book of Tea, by Okakura Kakuzo, 1906
by James P. Lenfestey
As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, James P. Lenfestey finds wisdom in a 1906 work dedicated to tea.

MIXED GENRE

About Repulsion
Annelyse Gelman and Jason Grier
About Repulsion, an EP by Annelyse Gelman and Jason Grier, is a diaphanous six-track exploration of power dynamics, the intersection of the quotidian and the profound, and the way in which technology creates a fragmented existence with edges of clarity and isolation. Reviewed by Ellen Boyette

POETRY REVIEWS

In Her Feminine Sign
Dunya Mikhail
Written both in Arabic and English, Dunya Mikhail’s In Her Feminine Sign creates a dialogue between East and West and a reflection of the Iraqi poet's exile. Reviewed by Julia Stein

Frayed Light
Yonatan Berg
Berg’s poems presents a personal story beyond and behind the news: the experiences of a young man who grew up in a West Bank settlement and served as a combat soldier before becoming a poet and bibliotherapist. Reviewed by Gwen Ackerman

Utopia Pipe Dream Memory
Anna Gurton-Wachter
Gurton-Wachter’s debut collection, Utopia Pipe Dream Memory, is a feminist affirmation of the multivocality of writing, the force of artistic communities, and the visionary as aesthetic principle. Reviewed by Isabel Sobral Campos

Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
Edited by Neeli Cherkovski, Raymond Foye, and Tate Swindell
Kaufman’s work is lush, romantic, and surreal, informed by jazz and by love and by the gritty milieu of a post-World War II San Francisco. Reviewed by Christopher Luna

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra: Selected Poems and Translations
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
One of the most celebrated Indian poets gets a coveted NYRB volume which includes not only his own poetry, but essential translations of ancient Indian verse. Reviewed by Graziano Krätli

NONFICTION REVIEWS

Figuring
Maria Popova
Astonishing in heft (almost 600 pages), in scope (lives, works, and milieu of selected European and American scientists, artists, and public intellectuals), and in articulation (attending as much to language and imaginative association as biographical fact), Maria Popova's Figuring is an ode to the quality of astonishment itself. Reviewed by Cindra Halm

Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions
David Stephen Calonne
This academic study highlights the poetic work of an important literary figure, one who found her own voice and path and serves as an admirable model for all artists. Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan

The Beautiful Ones
Prince
Culled from the late musician’s vast archive, The Beautiful Ones is a testament to Prince’s talent and vulnerability. Reviewed by Tatiana Ryckman

Love, Icebox: Letters from John Cage to Merce Cunningham
Edited by Laura Kuhn
A handsomely produced book, Love, Icebox consists of unashamedly personal letters that Cage posted to his future life partner, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, in the early 1940s. Reviewed by Richard Kostelanetz

The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry
Selected with an Introduction by Paul Kingsnorth
Wendell Berry
Culled from more than a dozen books, The World-Ending Fire has been thoughtfully assembled by Paul Kingsnorth, and serves as an excellent introduction to Berry’s thought. Reviewed by Robert Zaller

FICTION REVIEWS

His Father’s Disease: Stories
Aruni Kashyap
The ten stories in Aruni Kashyap’s His Father’s Disease discuss the struggles of finding community and acceptance, whether as a result of sexuality, relocation, or cultural misunderstandings. Reviewed by Michael MacBride

Subduction
Kristen Millares Young
In this debut novel, Kristen Millares Young explores the layers of community encountered by her cipher of a protagonist, who views the society of Neah Bay with the eye of a detached anthropologist. Reviewed by Douglas Cole

Longer
Michael Blumlein
Longer, by the late San Francisco Bay Area writer Michael Blumlein, offers a fantastic journey to both the stars and to places in the heart. Reviewed by Ryder W. Miller