First, in the Saturday Interview, Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp and Tommy Pico discuss Pico’s book-length poem, IRL, and its themes of temporality, Indiginous identity, and lyrical humor. IRL (which stands for ‘in real life’) reflects a “terrifying” and cathartic creative process in which Pico churned out new material four days a week and spent Fridays aggressively editing....more
Posts Tagged: weekend rumpus roundup
First, Sasha LaPointe meditates on the “language of trauma” in the Saturday Essay. An abusive experience from her childhood manifests itself in strange images of floating boats, images that she struggles to express in writing. LaPointe delves into the psychology of dissociation and discovers a wellspring of strength coming from her Native heritage and its oral histories....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Philip Roughton translates Icelandic writer Oddný Eir’s mirage-filled meditation on coming-of-age. Eir describes haunting images that float beneath her consciousness and in her dreams.
Then, Brandon Hicks illustrates the happy story of the girl who first created music....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Helga Schimkat talks to author Eden Robinson about silencing the inner voice of criticism. Robinson, whose award-winning novel Monkey Beach is set in British Columbia, emphasizes the sensory and emotional role of home in her work, saying, “Writing about your community is difficult for any writer....more
First, Chip Livingston recounts his transformational experiences with Reiki and alternative healing practices in the Saturday Essay. A shocking recording of a tarot reading empowers Livingston to feel hope again for his ailing lover, Ash, who is HIV positive. Then, Livingston learns a new way of healing at a Native American conference that complements his tarot reading....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Kate Lebo looks back at her Seattle neighborhood, Ballard, in 2007, before gentrification. Recalling details about her neighbors’ homes lead Lebo to reevaluate a particular time in her life, as well as to experience nostalgia for a version of Ballard that no longer exists....more
First, Theo Pauline Nestor critiques the way “women are supposed to be” in the Saturday Essay—how they are supposed to look and act, particularly when in the company of men. A violating experience at a medical clinic leads Nestor to reconsider her own sexual history in light of male disapproval....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Laura Da’ laments the near-eradication of the Shawnee language. Da’ provides a litany of broken treaties, each one an “artifact of unimaginable suffering,” and attempts to redefine the treaty for herself in today’s world.
Then, industrious author Christine Sneed talks to Floyd Skloot in the Sunday Interview....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Penny Perkins speaks with Ramona Ausubel about Ausubel’s latest novel, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, her previous collections, and “the ways that stories change the real chemistry of the world.”
Then, Jeff Lennon reviews Cynthia Cruz’s “swirling” fourth poetry collection, How The End Begins....more
First, the “luminous” poetry of Circe Maia takes center stage in the Saturday Interview. Chip Livingston talks to writer and teacher Jesse Lee Kercheval about her ongoing work translating Uruguayan poetry, much of which is written and performed in Montevideo, where “everyone is connected in one way or another.”
Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks pokes fun at didactic barflies in “The Bar Monologues.”
Lastly, in the Sunday Essay, Lea Page delves into fraught family dynamics surrounding her mother, her sister, Toni, and her nephew, after Toni’s husband suffers brain damage in a car accident....more
First, Michael Wasson’s imagistic prose poetry fills the Saturday Essay. Wasson’s dreamlike narrative describes a first day of school from his childhood. Wasson recalls the teacher taking attendance, calling out, “who’s missing?” The question launches a lyrical investigation of the author’s memory and identity....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Tyrese L. Coleman talks with author Leslie Pietrzyk about her award-winning 2015 collection, This Angel On My Chest, and its relationship with real life events. The author explains her approach to writing about personal tragedy, which is “to write the ‘true’ things until the truth wasn’t as interesting as what I could make up.”
Meanwhile, in “Big Ideas, Little Cartoons,” Brandon Hicks breaks down the most difficult topics into bite-sized illustrated aphorisms....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Terese Marie Mailhot considers the strange and tragic ways life wounds Native American women. She remembers running away from her home, the reservation. “Native women walk alone from the dances of their youth into homes they don’t know for the chance to be away,” she writes....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Randall Tyrone talks with writer Keith Newton about his innovative chapbook, A Week of Kindness, which reflects Newton’s fascination with surrealist Max Ernst’s 1933 “collage novel” Une semaine de bonté. Newton shares thoughtful views on organized religion, art as a response to fraying societal bonds, and his childhood and adolescence as a member of a cult....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Tyrese L. Coleman talks to Tara Laskowski about her new collection, Bystanders. Laskowski, editor of SmokeLong Quarterly and an experienced flash fiction author, discusses the writing process and her motivation for creating a more traditional collection focused on the act of being a witness....more
First, the irreverent Jane Eaton Hamilton recounts her history with pulmonary illness in gripping detail in the Saturday Essay. Hamilton, an aspiring animal researcher, discards her educational goals when the reality of her condition is revealed. Paralleling her story to the macabre qualities of the vampire bat, she takes a clinical approach with her descriptions....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Ben Wirth looks back on New Year’s Eve 1999 with mixed feelings. Hope, apprehension, wonder, and naiveté color his memory—along with cultural landmarks like Fight Club, MTV, and Conan O’Brien.
And Patrick James Dunagan observes the benevolent merging of the “creative” and the “scientific” in his review of a retrospective anthology of the interdisciplinary journal Io....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Nicole Walker considers her relationship with her partner, Erik, and the ways that raising children fray that relationship. When they sleep apart, the absent intimacy of the shared bed becomes a symbol for their difficulties and for the “notion of ‘one.'” When Walker draws a line between two different kinds of personalities, she must decide where she and her partner fit into the equation....more
First, Brandon Hicks shares a short series that he failed to place at a newspaper, “Burger Butler,” along with hilarious notes from the editors who rejected the series, and his own commentary on those notes.
Then, in the Saturday Essay, Yvonne Conza has nightmares stemming from an early memory of being tossed in the air by her father, a complicated man whose abusive behavior eventually ends his violent relationship with Conza’s mother....more
First, in the Saturday Interview, Deesha Philyaw talks to celebrated writer Darryl Pinckney about his latest novel, Black Deutschland, and drawing inspiration from Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories. Pinckney describes Berlin as “a somewhere not everyone wanted to bother with.” Racism in American history caused many to flee to Europe because it was “a personal solution to a mass problem,” Pinckney says, “like passing for white.” They go on to discuss his friend and influence Susan Sontag; Paris, love, and the differences between fiction and memoir....more
Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks illustrates what he has learned from famous author’s photos.
Then, in the Saturday Interview with Carol Edelman Warrior, poet and playwright Storme Webber says that “we’re all traveling on this Earth....more
First, for Day 23 of National Poetry Month, Valerie Wetlaufer’s “Method” uses third person to describe a victim of mysterious migraines, and for Day 24, Tyehimba Jess calls for the curtain to rise “to show the face that is known” in “Sissieretta Jones, Carnegie Hall, 1902: O patria mia....more
Next, a harrowing tale of addiction and related heart disease from Paul Vega in the Saturday Essay. Vega’s innovative form helps to create an understated tone in his description of his rehabilitation, and offers an opportunity for honesty that is long-overdue....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Tyrese L. Coleman unearths the history behind her surname and the results of a DNA test. The results say she is 69% African, 33% originating from Benin, 29% European, and less than 2% Asian. Coleman digs deeper and considers the likelihood of having descending from slaves and their slaveholders, imperialists and the subjected, both the winners and losers in our history books....more