Weekend Rumpus Roundup


For National Poetry Month Days 25 & 26, Christian Anton Gerard and Ada Limon provide us with poems of love and luck.

Then, Sean Donovan has good things to say in his Saturday Review of the film It Follows, a “clever” tribute to John Carpenter and the horror cinema of the 80s. It Follows is refreshing in its offering of a strong female protagonist, which “provides the film with a merciful self-awareness,” Donovan argues.

In the Sunday Book Review, Lesley Heiser takes us back to the world of literature when she examines two memoirs by Wendy Ortiz, National Book Award Winner Phil Klay’s Redeployment, William James’s 1910 essay, “The Moral Equivalent of War,” and Hermione Lee’s biography of Virginia Woolf. Ortiz’s “dynamic” second memoir uses prose poetry to analyze her first, a harrowing book of sexual exploitation called Excavation. Heiser pulls tight the thread connecting each publication when she questions our glorification of war heroics over a kind of emotional soldiery:

But it does seem that it is easy for society to celebrate conventional valor in the lives of some people, but not a far, far greater valor in the lives of others.

And finally, Anna March reviews Cate Dicharry’s honest and humorous debut, The Fine Art of Fucking Up. The novel’s protagonist, March writes, sets out to save a priceless Jackson Pollack painting from destruction when the school where it’s housed is threatened by flooding. The time sensitive mission doubles as a metaphor for the protagonist’s battle to save her artistic identity in this “delightful” and “masterful” story.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →