I met Cara Hoffman in 1999 when we were featured at downtown reading series in Ithaca, New York. I had already read the manuscript of her novel, Running, which wouldn’t be published until 2017, and she had read my first novel, Specimen Tank. She was in her twenties and I was thirty-eight. Mutual friends had been telling me I needed to meet her for months. I was skeptical that her first book could be as good as they said it was, but within a few pages I was stunned by the precise prose and her savage sense of humor.
THESE ARE THE EARLIEST THINGS WE KNEW: RUNNING BAREFOOT ON WHITE Florida sand and red Alabama clay. Sleeping beneath hairy oaks and climbing when we pleased. Clothes was rags and we hardly had shoes, but it was hot most the time…
And then, America wore kente cloth and took a knee,said it was starting a conversation. And then, America sent Mexico an(other) ultimatum,assured...
IT BEGAN WITH WATCHING A VIDEO OF MOB JUSTICE ONE MONDAY AFTERNOON in October 2012. Later, I would come to discover how paranoid this video made me,...
I’m sorry I stabbed Vann Marsden in the eye. It’s terrible that his wife had to die in the aftermath. The fact that she was already ill and couldn’t take the strain doesn’t alter my sadness over her passing, but when a director takes all the movies you love and remakes them as stark, near silent catalogs of gestures, the critic has to respond.
The languor, the drive, the traffic, the parking,/the walking blocks to public beach access,/down past an atilt row of porta-potties,
Though the library was closed, the lights had briefly blazed on, and she guessed Baker had broken in again. When Susan rushed through the front door and saw Baker, she grabbed the desk phone and shouted that she was dialing 911. Baker then fled through the side door. Then Susan called me, the librarian of this one-room rural Vermont library.
Victoria Chang’s collection, Obit, seems to have anticipated the prolonged good-byes of 2020. In it, Chang says good-bye to loved ones, feelings, objects—everything we feel and know, who we were and where we’re heading—especially when someone we love is dying, and our sense of awareness is heightened.
This stunning book-length poem, broken up into 103 sections, examines the grief and trauma associated with losing a young sister from suicide. Threaded also through these lyrics is a conversation with Paul Celan’s Selected Poems and Dante’s Inferno.
The shoemaker labors over his leather, his work./A singular lightbulb illuminates his hands, like a ner tamid,
Hallmark does not make a card for this/for what we mean to each other,/for what we do when my kids are asleep./We are not married. Not husband and wife.
The satellites have been turned/off turned away from/other satellites.