Yours Creature is composed of epistolary poems in the voice of Mary Shelley. Often written as missives to her famous literary mother, Wollstonecraft, the poems address months, years, and her own monstrous creation as they contend with exile, transience, and desire. These poems ask us to imagine the physical elements of Shelley's existence in language that is both luminous and visceral. This is not a book that simply recreates a past, but one that transcends time as it threads together the loss and violence that history has asked women to suppress. The poems recognize the unspoken pairing of scarcity and creation; they explore how the monstrous is born out of rejection. Yours, Creatureresponds to a literary and historical narrative, but the poems exist as lyric, singing of the pleasure of creation and its transformative power.
Daring and brilliant, Neil De La Flor's latest book, The Ars Magna for the Manifold Dimensions of z, is a big kick in the rear to absurdist theater. It stars a very tough Meta, a member of the Danish underground. "If my head had been cut off," says Meta, "you would've been next." The book explores "parallel worlds that are unaware of the other, but are layered atop of each other like minks or foxes wearing stoles and fur coats." Characters pursue each other through five acts, a series of emails, and an epilogue invoking Minkowskian Spacetime – I won't go there, but wow! De la Flor dives deep into meta-Meta-mind.
― Terese Svoboda
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
“Reginald Gibbons’s first novel takes place in east Texas in 1910 during the time of white rule―not by law but by lynch mob. Amid the suffocating racism and fear, half-Choctaw, half-white Reuben Sweetbitter and Martha Clarke, a white woman, fall in love. . . . Reuben and Martha’s love is strong, but, dishearteningly, racism is stronger. Timely in the subject of interracial love, this authentic, richly -detailed novel plumbs sacrifice, fear, and the loss of one’s identity, bringing the -anguish of the two young lovers to life. Highly recommended.”
Exquisite and precise, Caroline Goodwin’s newest poetry collection, Old Snow, White Sun, begins like “a catkin [making] its way through the cracks… A coolness over the throat.” It traverses various terrains with grace and a commitment to astonishment. Here, Goodwin brilliantly gathers mothlight, herbal lore, psychedelia, heavy metal, and old charm to capture a world that is bountiful, magnificent, and impermanent....Ferocity and decaying bodies populate these poems, but also tenderness and rhythmic hope. Find in these poems a heron, a river, a hurricane, a floodgate, a levee, a story. “The one where the girl is strong enough. The one where she survives.” Where she dwells and how she rises.
—Aileen Cassinetto, author of The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems, Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow
Blue Boy tells the story of an art historian with gargantuan ambition and hubris. A greedy tyrant, Gabriel Rhab regards most of the people around him, family and colleagues included, as existing to serve him, though, unfortunately, they have their own ambitions and appetites, which sometimes get in the way. Though a satire, the story offers both fun and empathy, as the intensely inward-gazing world of academic rivalry, the sadness of art history, the futility of theory, and the ludic aspects of domestic life are explored from various points of view with hard intelligence and psychological depth.
There is a journey between the source image and the target image in the glitch. From the surface to the bottom. From what is rationally structured to what is its original code. In Rank, Kristine Snodgrass places side-by-side visual works and poetic writings that share the same root: a subversive intention with respect to the abused and crystallized languages of everyday communication and power, in search of what is subterranean, corporeal, germinal. "Syllables of mortal flesh," she writes. A gesture - in images and words - almost physical and performative, which demystifies the apparent and reveals the substantial.
― Cinzia Farina
Missing centers on the author’s connection to William Maxwell, legendary fiction editor at The New Yorker and old friend of Cornelia Maude Spelman’s parents. Maxwell and Spelman become acquainted in his later years; through him, she is able to see her parents as young people with potential, when previously she’d been saddened by what seemed like their mediocre, unsuccessful lives....Maxwell’s presence dominates the first chapter with warmth, affection, and charm; later, his appearance in the book is sporadic, and just right: otherwise, readers might miss out on Spelman’s fine narrative voice and rich nonfiction storytelling skills.
― Lisa Romeo, Forward Reviews
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Christine arrives at her family’s farmhouse near Florence, in need of respite from personal sorrow and the quiet to work, only to find the cistern dry. Without water, she will be unable to stay. Determined, she embarks upon a search that will lead to a town's deep-held secrets. Her search draws her into the patchwork community of locals and foreigners, who know more than they admit. Human dramas emerge from the seemingly tranquil landscape—the journey to find water reveals the connectivity of lives and entanglements as complex as the water system. With a sleuth’s eye for details, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, the novel offers an almost anthropologically precise portrait of a time and place that makes for addictive reading.