Summer 2020

INTERVIEWS:

Friendship is a Blank Canvas: An Interview with Rufi Thorpe
Rufi Thorpe discusses the inception of her newest novel, The Knockout Queen, which revolves around themes of female friendship and violence. Interviewed by Zhanna Slor

Language Is Never Static: An Interview with Su Hwang
Su Hwang discusses her debut collection of poems, Bodega, which poignantly considers how every interaction between people is freighted with history and tied to identity.
Interviewed by Michael Prior

If it ain't a pleasure, it ain't a poem:
A Conversation between Dobby Gibson and Matthew Rohrer

In a testament to poetry and friendship in these troubled times, two poets enjoy a long-distance conversation about poetry of the ages and life during quarantine.

Bleach or Pinot Noir?
Susan M. Gaines and Jean Hegland in Conversation

Two writers unexpectedly became roomies during the pandemic lockdown, and they reflect on their experience in a weeks-long conversation.

FEATURES:

Pandemic Reflections on Girl in A Band by Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon’s 2015 memoir is helping one reader get through the 2020 plague in the way that Punk’s attitude was born to do, achieving strength from a position of weakness with honesty and compassion.
by Sean Smuda

MIXED GENRE REVIEWS:

A User’s Manual
Jiří Kolář
Jiří Kolář was one of the great collage artists of the 20th century, and now we can enjoy his art work accompanied by his poetry in his first book-length literary work in English. Reviewed by M. Kasper

Memory in the Circuit Breaker: An Essay on Bernadette Mayer’s Memory
While in Singapore during the Covid19 stay-at-home order called the Circuit Breaker, Anderson reflects on the uncanny prescience of Mayer’s Memory, a newly reissued collection of photographs and diaristic writings from July 1971.
Essay by Stephanie Anderson

POETRY REVIEWS:

Apostasy
Katy Mongeau
Mongeau’s poems read like narratives suspended over a tense allurement between wish-fulfillment and nightmare. Reviewed by Isabel Sobral Campos

4:30 Movie
Donna Masini
Masini employs an ingenious scaffold to explore the illness and untimely passing of her sister. Reviewed by Bhisham Bherwani

My German Dictionary
Katherine Hollander
Hollander’s poems take us to Europe in the years between the two world wars, letting her imagination loose on history. Reviewed by John Bradley

YA FICTION REVIEWS:

Light it Up
Kekla Magoon
In her follow up to How It Went Down, Magoon revisits the aftermath of the death of sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson by police. Reviewed by George Longenecker

Be Not Far From Me
Mindy McGinnis
This woman versus the wilderness narrative is a fast-paced ride, following Ashley as she fights for survival alone in the perilous Smoky Mountains. Reviewed by Olivia Vengel

FICTION REVIEWS:

Nietzsche and the Burbs
Lars Iyer
The economy of Nietzsche and the Burbs: book title, name of band formed by main characters, plot summary, all in one. Reviewed by Scott F. Parker

Days of Distraction
Alexandra Chang
Days of Distraction is autofiction, and it honors the genre with a steely self-awareness and a hard look at self-consciousness itself. Reviewed by Bethany Catlin

Family of Origin
C.J. Hauser
Hauser’s wistful second novel provides a frame for the larger questions of failure, parental rejection, and the looming climate crisis. Reviewed by Jeremiah Moriarty

NONFICTION REVIEWS:

News from the Infrathin: The Work of Marchel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection edited by Evelyn C. Hankins
Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life by Jacquelynn Baas

Two books delve into the complicated work of the mischievous genius Marcel Duchamp, a defining figure in the art world whose works cast a far-reaching shadow. Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan

Duchamp’s Last Day
Donald Shambroom
Duchamp’s Last Day highlights how, up until his very end, Duchamp placed substantial emphasis on gaiety and irreverence, turning his own death into a work of art. Reviewed by Jeff Alessandrelli

Essays One
Lydia Davis
As this new compendium demonstrates, to read Lydia Davis at any length is to be startled, jangled, entranced, and sometimes slightly annoyed.
Reviewed by John Toren

A Voice of the Warm: The Life of Rod McKuen
Barry Alfonso
Barry Alfonso tries to separate fact from fiction in this biography of the strange, self-conflicted, and tragic figure that was singer-songwriter-poet Rod McKuen. Reviewed by Walter Holland