Browsing Category Interviews/Reviews

Terrance Hayes on 2018: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Re-reading American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Poets, 2018) at the end of 2018 was literally hard to stomach. I revisited the politically charged poetry collection on the day a seven-year-old child died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody and was reminded of the work’s visceral nature. Hayes’s keen focus on bodies creates a striking portrait of contemporary American…

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From the Riot Grrrl Movement to Sappho: a Review of Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev

On a Sunday morning, I sat four rows away from a bored gate agent, phone pressed between my ear and shoulder—an attempt to ward off the woman trying to goad fellow passengers into a ‘dialogue’ about her support of “our president” and “the Wall”—listening to a friend lament the current state of literary pop culture. Their main complaint: the number of books praised as feminist…

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Tangible, Indelible Poems: A Review of Poetry Northwest (Summer & Fall 2018)

In a society where we constantly apply filters to images, swipe on them, and leave comments underneath them, the collection of poems in the Summer & Fall 2018 issue of Poetry Northwest offers uncropped views of the realities often diluted in today’s world. The issue, although hailing from the northwestern corner of the United States, is comprised of poetry by more than fifty contributors from all over the country,…

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Candid and Perceptive Essays: The Devil Says Maybe I Like It by Wendy Bourgeois

The Devil Says Maybe I Like It (Propeller Books, 2018) by Wendy Bourgeois is seventy-four pages of funny, thought-provoking, and fulfilling prose. Each of the seventeen essays in this brief and lovely book offer meaningful and challenging bits of wisdom and humor. An hour and a half into my reading, I found myself inspired to compose my own “Public Apology for Lack of Sexual Integrity,” armed with…

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Uncomfortable Intimacies: Virginia Quarterly Review’s Summer 2018 Issue

There are many ways to tear a person apart, and the stories and poems within Virginia Quarterly Review’s Summer 2018 issue prod and poke at the external and internal causes. From Hannah Louise Poston’s nonfiction about a scandal in the beauty community to Kaveh Akbar’s poems that feed the unknown, the writers in this issue of VQR capture the unrest in our current American climate. Part of the appeal…

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