Ilya Kaminsky’s second poetry collection, Deaf Republic, is an exhilarating and anguished poetic narrative. Sixty poems tell the story of an unspecified event wherein, “SOLDIERS—arrive in Vasenka to ‘protect our freedom,’ speaking a language no one understands.” The chilling poems that begin and end the collection suggest an acceptance of the preposterous—an all too familiar, yet distressing reality in today’s Unites States of America.
I turned to the breath-steamed window, parting a pane with my ungloved hand. There among the ornamental maples of the cemetery, I could just make out the wise men: bulb-lit, clustered, faces in prayerful repose. They appeared the day after Thanksgiving and stood through late January, long after we’d packed the plastic mistletoe in tissue, dragged molting trees to the curb. I never found out where the extension cords led.
When the door behind me pushes open and before the thin figure of the piano player arrives, in that slimmest moment, a drift of intermission music sneaks out, an old, fast, sassy tune.
Given the unspeakable nature of their differences, / they decided to settle their divorce in mime court.
Mink stoles and sparkling eyes—sparkling, / really—and hair curled to nearly edible
Amina Cain’s collection, Creature (Dorothy Project, 2013), owes great debts to the writing of Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector. Cain samples bits of their prose, and elsewhere mimics and tweaks their styles.
Hendrix jamming at the edge of volcanic expansion in the ‘60s skips ahead to 2039 night-swimming through the fossil-flamed continuum.
The editors are very pleased to announce the winners and top finalists of the third annual Neil Shepard Prizes in Fiction and Poetry, as well as of the inaugural Neil Shepard Prize in Creative Nonfiction.
Brown’s connection to intimacy is this: it dips and bends between tenderness and that primal vortex of humanness that burns in all of us—violence. Not that kind of malicious violence that we hear of on the news but the sweet horrible acts/thoughts of violence that spring out of love.
MIKE WHITE is the author of How to Make a Bird with Two Hands (Word Works), which was awarded the 2011 Washington Prize.