by SARAH LOFSTROM Katharine Coldiron, Ceremonials (Kernpunkt Press, 2020), pp. 134. A novella inspired by the 2011 Florence + the Machine album of the same name, Ceremonials is an ethereal dreamscape of a text. It embodies sensuous transformation in its … Continued
by ELLIE RAMBO Walter Serner, Last Loosening: a handbook for the con artist & those aspiring to become one (Twisted Spoon Press, 2020), pp. 189. The “Last Number” from Walter Serner’s Last Loosening, recently translated from German by Mark Kanak, … Continued
by MEGAN SWARTZFAGER Eduardo C. Corral, Guillotine (Graywolf, 2020), pp. 72. “Welcome / to la cagada,”– or, “the shit”– one undocumented immigrant trekking through unforgiving desert tells himself in award-winning poet Eduardo C. Corral’s second and latest collection of poetry, … Continued
by DEBORAH BACHARACH Dora Malech, Flourish (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020), pp. 91 Dora Malech’s fourth collection, Flourish, uncannily mixes dark themes with playful language. The darkness can be found on the road the speaker travels en route to a wedding in … Continued
by JULIA EDWARDS Kathryn Nuernberger, Rue (BOA Editions, 2020), pp. 104. In an online reading series via Green Mountains Review, Kathryn Nuernberger declares that the closing poem in her new book Rue, “The Real Thing,” is “the closest thing a … Continued
by DEBORAH BACHARACH Pamela Sneed, Funeral Diva (City Lights Books, 2020), p. 148. Pamela Sneed is a Black lesbian scholar, activist, poet, historian, and professor, and she brings all this expertise to Funeral Diva, her new cross-genre book. The first two … Continued
by JESSICA CORY Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press, 2020). pp. 120 pages. “My brother has a knife in his hand. / He has decided to stab my father,” read the opening lines of the collection’s second poem, “Blood-Light.” … Continued
Lanny is depicted as untainted by the moral failings of the adults around him. As a child, his purity is precarious—not only because he will grow up, but because his childishness makes him vulnerable to those who might prey on goodness.
In each story, rural China grates against urbanization. Tradition grates against technology, and poverty grates against new wealth.
The poems move between both the urgency and complacency of living in a world which is being destroyed by our way of life.