If Noelle Kocot Were Looking For A Noelle Kocot, She Would First Have To Fly To Noelle Kocot.

If New Jersey were the universe, Noelle Kocot would be its soul. No, wait. If Noelle Kocot were the universe, her soul would be in New Jersey and her toes in the sea, settling down a hurricane. Better yet, if Noelle Kocot controlled the galaxy, Soul in Space (Wave Books), her latest poetry collection, would … Continue reading If Noelle Kocot Were Looking For A Noelle Kocot, She Would First Have To Fly To Noelle Kocot.

Snow & Guavas: NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names

What first struck me about NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel of coming of age in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, We Need New Names, were the brilliant insults. Ten year old Darling, and her gang of friends – Bastard, Stino, Sbho, and Godknows (not Chipo, though—she hasn’t said a word since she got pregnant)—run through the shanties and guava orchards … Continue reading Snow & Guavas: NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names

All These Voices: Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge

On our last trip home to Michigan, my boyfriend and I took public transportation. Round-trip, this     takes two buses, two trains, and two long layovers in Chicago. Clanking through the Gary rail yards and  the Michigan trees, the porter announcing all those curiously beautiful names–Dowagiac, Kalamazoo, Owosso– the trip is slow, but presents a host … Continue reading All These Voices: Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge

Review: James Longenbach’s The Virtues of Poetry

By Matt Kilbane, Poetry Co-Editor My admiration for James Longenbach’s new collection of essays, The Virtues of Poetry, has everything to do with this poet-critic’s bifocals, his capacity to take the short- and long-view simultaneously and with equal rigor. It’s a bird’s eye intimacy, made possible by a kind of thoroughgoing poetic piety, an abiding … Continue reading Review: James Longenbach’s The Virtues of Poetry

The Importance of Activist Authors–It’s No Good by Kirill Medvedev

By David Blomenberg, Reviews Editor There’s a certain renegade quality to the publishing of this book that resonates not only with the disposition of the activist poet it introduces to the English-reading public, but also chimes with Russia itself, the country whose health—both political and artistic—is always at the heart of Medvedev’s work. There’s a … Continue reading The Importance of Activist Authors–It’s No Good by Kirill Medvedev

Review of The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men: Stories by Adam Prince

By Dallas Woodburn, Fiction Editor Adam Prince’s debut collection of short stories, The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, opens with an epigraph from Wright Morris’ The Works of Love: “What the world needed, it seemed, was a traveler who would stay right there in the bedroom, or open the door and walk slowly about his … Continue reading Review of The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men: Stories by Adam Prince

Someone Worth Your Time: The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard

by Jacob Sunderlin There should be a class required for everyone getting an MFA called “How to Be an American Artist and Stay Human” and the textbook should be The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard. In this volume, put out by Library of America (which means that Joe Brainard is—yes—set alongside Thomas Jefferson and Emerson, … Continue reading Someone Worth Your Time: The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard

“Nod never was a nation”: James Arthur and the Poetics of Travel

by Jacob Sunderlin There is a particular brand of travel poetry—marked by the cataloguing of sensual spices, exotic flora, and the sitting-in-an-outdoor-café speaker marking the wrinkles in streetperson hands—that I feel is my solemn duty to despise. Doubtless, this comes from the deep well of psychic gloop I swam in during college, writing undergrad papers … Continue reading “Nod never was a nation”: James Arthur and the Poetics of Travel