Reviews

A Deeply Human Act: Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

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What is so extraordinary about this collection is its lyricism, its humanity, and its urgency. ...more

Between Autonomy and Powerlessness: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

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Women’s bodies signify so much, both to ourselves and others, that inhabiting them and having ownership over them often feel like two different states of being. ...more

You’re in the Hands of a Pro: The Goat Fish and the Lover’s Knot by Jack Driscoll

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The characters in this collection frequently daydream about time. Children and teens want to speed it up so life can start. Grown-ups ask time to slow, or rewind to get some of it back. ...more

Ward’s Mississippi Is Our Mississippi: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

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Capturing the Delta in harrowing detail, Ward takes readers on a journey from her own home of the Gulf Coast to the Mississippi State Penitentiary. ...more

Let Us Be Singing Fools: Norman Finkelstein’s The Ratio of Reason to Magic: New & Selected Poems

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If poetry is to remain a bulwark against the flagrant coarseness and cruelty at work in this moment of history, Norman Finkelstein’s work belongs right here with us. ...more

Gentrification Looks Like Us: Making Rent in Bed-Stuy by Brandon Harris

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Harris thoughtfully examines what happens when privilege and lack of privilege are forced to coexist in the same neighborhood—and, occasionally, in the same apartment. ...more

Scripting New Narratives: Mandy Len Catron’s How to Fall in Love with Anyone

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I can’t help but wonder what if, in detangling love stories and our relationships to them, Catron is building yet another narrative—an anti-narrative, perhaps—of love. ...more

Bodies Testing Boundaries: The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld

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The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld is a profound debut that carefully undermines the foundational assumptions we have about other people. ...more

Navigating Empathy: Camille T. Dungy’s Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History

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Luckily for us, Dungy’s increase in empathy and experience coincides with her embrace of the braided essay: her thinking crashes people, places, and ideas against each other in unexpected and adventurous ways. ...more

There Is No Answer: Draw Your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles

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As Sentilles makes clear, she is against the wars the United States is currently involved in, and war in general, but she’s critical of what that means. ...more

At the Intersection of Personal and Political: Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now edited by Amit Majmudar

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American writers have a long, distinguished history of calling out injustice. ...more

Beauty Undercut by the Possibility of Terror: Afterland by Mai Der Vang

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Precariousness is an essential condition of life for the people who populate Vang’s poems, especially the Hmong refugees on whom the poet’s eye most lovingly lingers. ...more

Reclaiming the Language of Pop Culture: Reversible by Marisa Crawford

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Marisa Crawford’s Reversible is an evocative collection, showcasing the ways in which pop culture saturates us with meaning, and how it teaches us to become. ...more