One Illuminated Letter of Being, Donald Platt’s new collection of thirty-two heart-wrenching poems, is oriented around the loss of his mother—itself a disorienting experience, for anyone—that anticipates her death, reconciles itself to it, and resumes living, in a new way.
We’re sitting idle, another day of no skin, / no face up-turned. It’s not that rain streams us
Can we ever escape the consequences of an immoral action, even if we think some good will come out of it? Thrity Umrigar, a prominent Indian-American writer, a professor, a journalist, and a Nieman Fellowship recipient, narrates a tale, Everybody’s Son, in which an immoral and illegal act changes lives and makes us wonder whether justice and atonement will follow.
Remember when you lived by a single quote, / repeated most days / with a fundamentalist zeal, / little need to say more?
After Airdra divorced me, I gained forty pounds and killed our parakeet. I should have let Airdra take her beloved bird but inflicting pain was my top priority.
In the blue bathroom, my mother’s hidden Kotex. / My pajama crotch smeared with first blurred fire.
I learned a lot from the free museum lecture on the Reformation, / how it wasn’t really Holy or Roman or an Empire at all / when I step back and let the big picture blur. That night / at the trattoria, a stranger with thinning gray wisps
The end of Frank’s world doesn’t go out with a bang or a whimper, but rather with the siren of the emergency broadcasting system and a smoky, pink smudge on the western horizon.
Patricia Colleen Murphy’s first collection, Hemming Flames, is an intricate and intimate portrait of family, struggle, grief, guilt, and moving through it all. It’s a book about feeling strange—not part of the family you were born into, and not really part of yourself—with the body you were born into. It’s a book about trying to find shreds of certainty, and about trying, period.