Weekend Rumpus Roundup


First, Brandon Hicks takes a hilarious look at “The Stop Sign.”

And in the Saturday Essay, Kyle Dargan provides a thoughtful response to a New York Times article on female body image. Dargan recounts his positive exposure to female athletes, dancers, and role models during his adolescence. The aesthetic of gaining muscle mass is unfortunately a fraught topic for many women, not only superstars like Serena Williams.

Meanwhile, Barbara Berman reviews the “fiery” collection Red Epic, by Joshua Clover. His poetry “bleeds and burns,”” while relying heavily upon literary allusions. Ovid, Ezra Pound, and St. Augustine make appearances. Though this is not an “easy” poet, Clover’s work is never “restful.”

Finally, in the Sunday Essay, a difficult revelation about Ibi Zoboi’s father is framed by the tremendous carnage of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. A laundry list of her father’s admirable qualities complicates the reality of his history of sexual predation. His crimes, for Zoboi, are compounded by patriarchal, racist, and colonial values all too prevalent in the Haitian landscape.

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 →