Recommended Reading 10/9/2017

Here’s a quick list of some of the wonderful poetry and nonfiction that I’ve found online in the last couple of weeks.  This list is woefully short of fiction recommendations, but I’ll try to fix that soon.  In the meantime, enjoy these pieces:

Joanne Nelson has a new essay, “Just Leave the Damn Thing Open” online in the new issue of museum of americana: https://themuseumofamericana.net/current-issue/just-leave-the-damn-thing-open-nonfiction-by-joanne-nelson/.

Linda Michel-Cassidy interviewed Louise Marburg for Why There Are Wordshttps://www.wtawpress.org/louise-marburg-interview?platform=hootsuite

Megan Culhane-Galbraith and Walter Robinson both have work listed as Notable Essays in the Best American Essays 2017.  Megan’s piece, “Sin Will Find You Out” was originally published at Catapult: https://catapult.co/stories/sin-will-find-you-out.  Walter’s essay, “This Will Sting and Burn,” was originally published at The Sun: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/481/this-will-sting-and-burn.

Didi Jackson has a beautiful poem, “Signs for the Living,” in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/02/signs-for-the-living.

Corina Zappia has a brilliant new essay in Catapult about growing up in Texas, and a lot of it sure reminds me of what it’s like to live in Tennessee: https://catapult.co/stories/places-loving-hating-and-being-from-texas.

Cassie Pruyn’s poetry collection, Lena, has been reviewed by Lambda Literary Review: https://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/09/13/lena-by-cassie-pruyn/ .

Emily Mohn-Slate’s poem, “Landscape with Ex-husband Lingering,” has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Gulf Stream Literary Magazine: https://gulfstreamlitmag.com/landscape-with-ex-husband-lingering/

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Recommended Reading 8/4/2017

If you’re looking for something worthwhile to read this weekend, look no further.

Lorraine Comanor’s essay, “The Carnevale Masks,” is online at The Raven’s Perch: http://www.theravensperch.com/the-carnevale-masks-by-lorraine-commanor/

LA Times - X PressAgatha French interviewed the publishers of the new L.A. press X Artists’ Books, and yeah, one of them happens to be Keanu Reeves: http://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-keanu-reeves-artists-books-20170719-story.html.

Emily Mohn-Slate’s essay, “The Colossal”—about Iris van Herpen, Girls Write Museum and the way art and poetry makes our worlds larger—is in At Length’s art section: http://atlengthmag.com/art/the-colossal-iris-van-herpen-and-girls-write-the-museum/.

Jennifer Stewart Miller has two great poems in The Green Mountains Reviewhttp://greenmountainsreview.com/two-poems-28/.  Here’s a small taste from her poem, “Thirsty Birds:”

You don’t have to believe,
to think there’s something about

the flicker’s up-stretched profile
that’s like a shaft of sunlight

piercing an old church.

Barrett Warner reviewed Keith Lesmeister’s book, We Could’ve Been Happy Here, for Atticus Review: https://atticusreview.org/life-rattling-review-couldve-happy-keith-lesmeister/.  Barrett also has new poems online at Verse Wrights: http://www.versewrights.com/warner-barrett.html, including one called “Rainbow Pig.”  Here’s a few lines from “All the Latest Talk in Paradise Concerning Butterflies:”

This we know: butterflies need milkweed–
their only food—and its poison, their only defense,
 
and we are pitchfork lonely for connection,
the piercing tines make five holes in our lungs.

Fiction lovers won’t want to miss Tiffany Williams’ new short story, “Murmuration,” in Appalachian Heritage: http://appalachianheritage.net/2017/05/26/murmuration/.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the new issue of The Tishman Reviewhttp://www.thetishmanreview.com/.

Recommended Non-fiction Reading 7/24/2017

I don’t know if it’s something in the air or the water, but I’ve read some really wonderful nonfiction pieces lately, and I wanted to share them.

After the birth of her children, Emily Mohn-Slate had trouble finding her way back to herself.  Check out her essay at Rackedhttps://www.racked.com/2017/6/19/15757368/motherhood-bodies-postpartum-clothes .

If I told you, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” you might think I was speaking about Elizabeth Warren, but I’m actually talking about Megan Culhane Galbraith.  She writes about how divine rules were meant to be broken for The Coachella Reviewhttp://thecoachellareview.com/wordpress/talking-points/

I love to read book reviews and interviews, especially when they are smart and insightful.  K.L. Brown interviewed Brad Listi over at Entropyhttps://entropymag.org/otherppl-with-brad-listi-an-interview-with-the-interviewer-of-todays-leading-writers/

And Cassie Pruyn reviewed Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s second book, There Should Be Flowers, for Blackbird: http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v16n1/nonfiction/pruyn-c/flowers_page.shtml#.WUqxKA_P-PU.facebook.

Cassie Pruyn has her own book of poetry, Lena, that was recently released by Texas Tech University Press.  If you don’t own it yet, you really should buy it immediately. I’ll be sharing more about this beautiful collection soon, but as a teaser, check out this mention at Rosemary and Reading Glasseshttps://rosemaryandreadingglasses.com/2017/07/18/recommended-reading-lena-by-cassie-pruyn/.

Lena cover

 

 

Recommended Reading 9/23/2016

I’ve been reading some great stories, poems and essays in the past few weeks.  If you’re looking for something to hold your attention over the weekend, try one (or all) of these:

Barrett Warner’s poem, Oxon Run, was recently featured at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily: https://autumnskypoetrydaily.com/2016/09/08/oxon-run-by-barrett-warner/.

Emily Mohn-Slate has two poems at Connotation Press: http://www.connotationpress.com/poetry/2862-emily-mohn-slate-poetry.

Linda Michel-Cassidy interviewed Tom McAllister and Mike Ingram, the creators of Book Fight!, over at Entropy: http://entropymag.org/book-fight-books-we-love-books-we-hate-books-that-inspire-us-baffle-us-infuriate-us/.

K.L. Browne’s fantastic story, Toucan, was published this week at Ascent: http://www.readthebestwriting.com/toucan-kelly-browne/.

Susan Pagani wrote this cool article about a cooperative grocery store in Minneapolis for Civil Eats, a national food justice mag: http://civileats.com/2016/09/20/this-minneapolis-cooperative-grocery-store-is-working-to-break-the-diversity-mold/.

Finally, I highly recommend you check out this essay by Jamie Zvirzdin in The Kenyon Review’s Poetics of Science issue: http://www.kenyonreview.org/kr-online-issue/2016-fall/selections/jamie-zvirzdin-656342/.  The essay is titled, “Observations of a Science Editor: If Romantic Scientists Pilfered Fiction’s Toolbox, You Can Too,” and it’s really fascinating.

Ross Gay’s “Burial”

My friend Emily Mohn-Slate recently gifted me with Ross Gay‘s beautiful collection of poetry, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.  One of my favorite poems so far is “Burial,” originally published in Solstice.  I’ve copied the poem here, and I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

Ross Gay

Burial
You’re right, you’re right,
the fertilizer’s good—
it wasn’t a gang of dullards
came up with chucking
a fish in the planting hole
or some mid-wife got lucky
with the placenta—
oh, I’ll plant a tree here!
and a sudden flush of quince
and jam enough for months—yes,
the magic dust our bodies become
casts spells on the roots
about which a dumber man than me
could tell you the chemical processes,
but it’s just magic to me,
which is why a couple springs ago
when first putting in my two bare root plum trees
out back I took the jar which has become
my father’s house,
and lonely for him and hoping to coax him back
for my mother as much as me,
poured some of him in the planting holes
and he dove in glad for the robust air,
saddling a slight gust
into my nose and mouth,
chuckling as I coughed,
but mostly he disappeared
into the minor yawns in the earth
into which I placed the trees,
splaying wide their roots,
casting the grey dust of my old man
evenly throughout the hole,
replacing then the clods
of dense Indiana soil until the roots
and my father were buried,
watering it in all with one hand
while holding the tree
with the other straight as the flag
to the nation of simple joy
of which my father is now a naturalized citizen,
waving the flag
from his subterranean lair,
the roots curled around him
like shawls or jungle gyms, like
hookahs or the arms of ancestors,
before breast-stroking into the xylem,
riding the elevator up
through the cambium and into the leaves where,
when you put your ear close enough,
you can hear him whisper
good morning, where, if you close your eyes
and push your face you can feel
his stubbly jowls and good lord
this year he was giddy at the first
real fruit set and nestled into the 30 or 40 plums
in the two trees, peering out from the sweet meat
with his hands pressed against the purple skin
like cathedral glass,
and imagine his joy as the sun
wizarded forth those abundant sugars
and I plodded barefoot
and prayerful at the first ripe plum’s swell and blush,
almost weepy conjuring
some surely ponderous verse
to convey this bottomless grace,
you know, oh father oh father kind of stuff,
hundreds of hot air balloons
filling the sky in my chest, replacing his intubated body
listing like a boat keel side up, replacing
the steady stream of water from the one eye
which his brother wiped before removing the tube,
keeping his hand on the forehead
until the last wind in his body wandered off,
while my brother wailed like an animal,
and my mother said, weeping,
it’s ok, it’s ok, you can go honey,
at all of which my father
guffawed by kicking from the first bite
buckets of juice down my chin,
staining one of my two button-down shirts,
the salmon colored silk one, hollering
there’s more of that!
almost dancing now in the plum,
in the tree, the way he did as a person,
bent over and biting his lip
and chucking the one hip out
then the other with his elbows cocked
and fists loosely made
and eyes closed and mouth made trumpet
when he knew he could make you happy
just by being a little silly
and sweet.