Adrienne Christian’s WORN

Debbra Palmer
January 31, 2023
In her third book of poems, WORN, Adrienne Christian opens closets, trunks, drawers and minds, stitching together a narrative made from the costume of living— clothes. And it’s not only about the finest attire, but also housecoats, shoes with holes in the bottom, sports jerseys, hospital …

The Detransition, Baby Problem: Embracing the Everyday Failures of Womanhood

Swati Sudarsan
January 23, 2023
Torrey Peters’ Detransition, Baby came out in early 2021 and quickly became one of the buzziest novels of the year. The novel is big-hearted, with as many moments of crisp humor as there are moments of striking tenderness. It’s a novel that cares about the cis gaze without catering to it, which may …

When Your Sky Runs Into Mine

Debbra Palmer
January 18, 2023
Rooja Mohassessy’s stunning debut collection, When Your Sky Runs Into Mine, arrives as women-led protests in Iran continue in response to human rights violations and the denial of individual freedoms. The poems unfold as “memoir in verse” and begin with Mohassessy’s early memories of a …

Leaving a Self that No Longer Breathes

Rachel Jacobson
January 17, 2023
In “Decision to Leave,” a story that mainly takes place in Busan, there are grisly murders and overworked detectives at the foreground. A hiker is found at the bottom of a cliff and his beautiful, young wife, Seo-Rae, is left behind. Based on the trailer, I was expecting a true crime thriller, where …

Transcendent Memory in Larissa Lai’s The Lost Century

Hilary Sun
January 8, 2023
Larissa Lai’s The Lost Century opens in 1997, on the afternoon before Hong Kong is transferred from the British to the People’s Republic of China. Ophelia and her great-aunt Violet settle into a restaurant and begin a multi-course meal of typhoon-shelter-style crab, congee mixed with …

Stranged Voices, Stranged Writing: Against the Automatism of Perception

Matt Chelf
December 6, 2022
Portland-based journal, The Gravity of the Thing, just released a new anthology, Stranged Writing: A Literary Taxonomy, a collection of defamiliarized work designed to challenge reading conventions. In their co-written introduction to the anthology, editors Thea Prieto and Laurel Prieto defined …

The Path to Home: A Connection to Our Lost Selves

Steph Cleary
November 6, 2022
The greatest foe to our collective unbreaking is disillusionment. It is not hatred, not sorrow. The very existence of humanity (and maintaining that humanity in the face of those who would strip us of it), relies upon that which moves us; whether it be to despair, joy, or something in between. That …

Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021

Rhony Bhopla
July 11, 2022
The most important aspect of Yusef Komunyakaa’s poems is that the emotive experience of the poem is not solely linked to image or lyric. Inherently, the page presents hierarchy due to the English language and its etymology as a coded system of colonial trappings. Komunyakaa’s poems …

The Great World of Days

Jarrod Campbell
July 1, 2022
A calendar collects time neatly, sorted by numbers, geometry and pages to mark the periods we call days. And within those twenty-four hours that make up any day, potential manifests in myriad ways. “The Great World of Days” (Day Eight), a collection of poetry published in Bourgeon …

White Magic by Elissa Washuta

Rose Lambert-Sluder
July 1, 2021
Magic lets Elissa Washuta stay alive. She can’t control the world through magic, but witchcraft has helped her survive events that were close to hell. That premise is essential to Washuta’s new essay collection, White Magic, which is webbed with astrology and tarot, shot through with …

Machines of Another Era by Bess Winter

Nicky Gonzalez
April 1, 2021
A few years ago, I found myself scrolling through a listicle, choking up with laughter. Compiled before me were a series of tintypes from the 19th century. Tintypes required long exposure times, so if families and photographers wanted babies to sit still, they had to get creative. The solution? …