“Writing a book is mostly an exercise of spending years at a time in a room by yourself living in an imaginary world.”
My Three Sonsg emil reutterOctober 31, 2017
Their mother is proud and calls them her famous sons on television no less. Except: Billy and Danny are videotaped stripping the renovated church, whereas Jacob absconds with the wad of cash leaving his brothers to pay for the crime.
Deathbed WeddingRobin VigfussonOctober 31, 2017
After her mother’s death, Gretchen gets a call from Miguel inviting her to retrieve her mother’s possessions. When she visits, she notices new wallpaper and a Persian rug. But she sees something else—an unexpected insight into her mother’s next life.
The Foxhole in the Front YardJohn SarmientoOctober 31, 2017
Gen chased insurgents, rode Humvees across Iraq, peeled walls with the .50 caliber machine gun. Once when he got back home he grabbed his pregnant wife Karen to dig a foxhole in the front yard and she wants mangoes in the morning.
A Tale or TwoJames EwenOctober 31, 2017
Around a tiki bar in Ecuador, visitors from Germany, Canada, Texas, and California recount their travelogues, holding forth for hours on end. And then there is the reticent Scotsman who sees a new tale beginning—in the surf’s retreating tide.
SignsMacy DeBosierOctober 31, 2017
Mark Krainin disappeared ten years ago. Signs went up: Tommy Luna, Dorothy Copewell, Andrea Whitman, Justin Kint, and Edith Maynard. Ash Denton talks to them and everyone thinks he has lost his mind. And then it happens.
Fake NamesDaniel BartkowiakOctober 30, 2017
Adenocarcinoma lines his lungs; not what Richard wants to hear. He plays the tape of his father on the ledge, in the air, plunging seven floors down. Richard wonders if he himself had “always been falling and only now looked down.”
MoonlightMie Astrup JensenOctober 30, 2017
On a blank page a poetic story is told about the woman who finds her light in the moon amid the darkness and solitude; who opens like a flower; who is timeless and makes your heart beat faster. You want to hold her and never let her go. Who is she?
Miss JulieJoy MannéOctober 29, 2017
This is a tale about Nora’s mother Julie who has dementia and resides in Butterfly Residence. But it is also about the underside of the small town of Long River—a colony founded by women who had escaped brutal husbands.
The Games People PlayMaria SavvaOctober 29, 2017
Penny, Elayna, Loulla, Sally—women Lucas juggles to make up for “the dread of humiliation that followed Olivia’s betrayal.” Even after he gets caught, he can always rely on Paris and Delphine, and maybe Debbie too.
“There’s Only One Dance”, “Lonely Stars and Stripes” and “Placed on Pegasus!”Michael O'BrienNovember 1, 2017
There is only the dance of poetic rhyme in O’Brien’s poetry, as embodied in the poem “Pegasus,” a moral tale unencumbered by abstraction or opaque allusions: “Rejoice and kick up/the dust/in your/every advance,” the poet commands.
“Vertigo, NC”, “Wisp” and “To my daughter, sleeping in the back seat”Katy McAllisterNovember 1, 2017
There is a subdued presence in McAllister’s poetry, as if she is whispering in your ear: feel the sensuous in “Vertigo, NC”; see the fox emerge from the trees in “Wisp”; and in “To My Daughter” know “a temple in the mountain.”
“Shipwreck”, “No Going Back” and “A Book Like Mine”Leslie SouleNovember 1, 2017
When a poet uses figurative language like Soule in “Shipwrecked,” you feel the extended metaphor or conceit alive in the paradox that the men on board will perish, “becoming pearls, their skin coral.” Ditto “A Book Like Mine” and quicksand.
“unicorn”, “grass icon” and “Bradbury’s butterflies”Dmitry BlizniukNovember 1, 2017
Translated from Russian, Blizniuk’s poetry is imbued with concrete images that place you within their parameters, and yet the abstract moves ever so closely to a Universe of billions where “someone has torn out a wire from the cable of the humanity.”
“Prairie Summer”, “La Sabranenque” and “Leaves”Sabrina L'HeureuxNovember 1, 2017
This is not easy, this telling a story through images that don’t miss a beat in the poetic line, and to tell it so completely, as L’Heureux “La Sabtranenque” and “Leaves” do through the perspective of “I” and the consistency in voice and mood.
“The Raven and the Stone”, “Tea for the Taxman” and “Dolphin Song”Rollin JewettNovember 1, 2017
To read “thee” and “thou” and “ne’er” and “‘tis” in “The Raven and the Stone” and “Dolphin Song” is like returning to the world of poetry in the 18th century. In Jewett’s hands, this poetic composition is simultaneously playful and dramatic.
“Like Oleander”, “Navigating Silence” and “Tiresias, the Seer (a poem in 9 Tankas)”Effie PasagiannisNovember 1, 2017
Read Pasagiannis poems quietly, as they offer you an opening to the ethereal and spiritual and mysterious. Each poem breathes its own poetic nuance in form and content, but they gather the difference in “Navigating Silence”: “just listen.”
“The Bats in the Willow”, “Revenant Gloam” and “I Cannot Make Permanent Things”Melissa MulvihillNovember 1, 2017
Bats, the revenant gloam, and impermanence are the subjects of Mulvihill’s poetry here. Yes, their commonality may not be obvious, but Mulviill’s storytelling marks her poetry—personal and unequivocally forthright. Her voice is her truth.
“The Dedekind Cut”, “Triangles Reconstructed: Dad’s Last Hospitalization, Son Caught In The Middle” and “Laundromat 1, 2, 3…9”Gerard SarnatNovember 1, 2017
Ever heard of the “Dedekind Cut?” Sarnat explains the second part as the “partitioning of philosophical arguments,” and goes on to reveal an ironic vulnerability in “Triangles Reconstructed: Dad’s Last Hospitalization . . . .”
“Frankenstein, I love you”, “For Shilpa” and “Ash Wednesday”Natalia ZverevaOctober 31, 2017
Reading Zvereva’s poetry is like entering a lush garden of words that find meaning in their juxtaposition, and the senses dominate while reason takes a back seat, if only for a little while. Feeling pulls you toward the understanding and not knowing.
“The Millenials”, “he is no surprise” and “a Boxer’s beginning, at the end”Komal KeshranOctober 31, 2017
Mindful of the philosophical and spiritual, Keshran gives readers an option: they can read at the surface of his poetry or they can move like “the current of the river” and choose “to seek what lies beyond this earth.” There is magic here.
“Tiger Swallowtail”, “Bulbpulse” and “Flamingo”Henry StantonOctober 31, 2017
Stanton’s poetry pulls beyond the words on the page. Is it a search for the “suchness” of things, the true self, the true reality? The poet refuses to be trapped in his corporeality to divine the “whatness” of self: “Tathāgata will be my next child.”
“We Are, We Were”, “Think Tragedy, Feel Comedy” and “Are we equal yet?”Samuel GriffinOctober 31, 2017
Metaphysics pervades Griffin’s poetry, as the references to Newton, Heraclitus, Isaac, and Spinoza’s famous Deus sive Natura are instructive. Pay attention to the titles: “We Are, We Were,” “Think Tragedy, Feel Comedy,” and “Are We Equal Yet?”
“Dark Sun”, “confessing” and “nag, stone”Frank HeatherOctober 31, 2017
An existential fear of unknowing in Heather’s poems is made most explicit in “Dark Sun,” but it is also present in “nag, stone” and “confessing,” irrespective of the irony. Named: “this terror towards time” and “the swirling chaotic mystery of my past.”
“Drowning”, “Forms” and “Odysseus”Theresa RyderOctober 31, 2017
The transient nature of life is nowhere more keenly perceived as in Ryder’s poem “Forms.” The irony is obvious: “When I die the world will stop spinning,” and then this: “I will be a form, a shape, a number, a colour, a sound.” A transitory traveller.
Motherhood, AmbitionClaire RobbinsOctober 29, 2017
Robbins didn’t know herself before she was a mother at twenty, but she was determined to know herself as an adult. This is her story about the tension between motherhood and ambition, and how she didn’t allow ambition to lose.
A Creative Interrogation of Ishion Hutchinson’s “Homage: Vallejo”Eli MakovetskyOctober 29, 2017
Follow Makovetsky’s exegesis of Ishion Hutchinson’s poem “Homage: Vallejo” and you are in a world of awareness in which Hutchinson uses Vallejo’s lens to talk about “being born black in a racist America”—one of Makovetsky’s many insights.
To Love the GraveyardEmily Rae RobertsOctober 29, 2017
What is there about a graveyard to love? Families who visit? Animals that find shelter? “The silence of a thousand talking graves”? Emily Roberts explores those stories behind the stones.
MessyRobert HillesOctober 29, 2017
Messy is a love story that captures the complexities of love: the difficulties, paradoxes, ambiguities, passions, and truths. It aches, struggles, retrieves, and falls back upon itself. It also gets very complicated when two brothers love the same woman, albeit two decades apart. When Moss alerts Archie about the fire, he can’t remember the last time his brother was in his truck.
The novella moves back and forth between 1965 and 1988 through 1990. It begins with the fire in which her half-brother Raymond saves Clara and brings Moss and Archie together to help the woman both of them love. When Clara leaves Moss in 1965, it is because of Raymond. When she falls in love with Archie in 1988, Raymond plays his part here, too. Archie repairs the valve in Raymond’s car and Clara is with him.
Clara is a bookworm. Reading books teaches her about the existential make-up of life. One of her favorites is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, which she gives to Archie. He hasn’t read a book like this in a long time and stays up until three in the morning to finish it. He sees things about love he hasn’t seen or understood before—every relationship has “messy parts but it was these very parts that make love work.” In reading Love in the Time of Cholera, Archie realizes that love is “both the means and the end and could be arrived at, not pursued.”
Moss falls in love with Clara in his early twenties, Archie in his forties. Clara decides on both, but her truth pivots on Raymond. She would never leave him behind.