Weekend Rumpus Roundup


First, poet Christina Stoddard discusses her debut collection, Hive, with Renee Sims in the Saturday Interview. Violence and brutality in the Pacific Northwest is the topic of this sometimes-startling book. Stoddard faces the reality of violence with an unblinking gaze. She proclaims, “These are things we don’t talk about and I’m here to talk about them. You will either come along with me on that—or not.

Then, Alicia Swiz reviews Gotta Go Gotta Flow, a photo essay paired with poetry about Chicago blues clubs in the 70s. As a white male photographer, Michael Abramson tells one story with his pictures, but Smith, an African-American woman, adds an important second dimension with her lyricism. The book honors “what’s been lost, silenced, ignored, and devalued,” Swiz writes.

Finally, in the Sunday Essay, Anne Boyd Rioux defends the legacy of Constance Fenimore Woolson, a contemporary of George Eliot and Henry James, and examines the nature of literary fame in the process. While Woolson is regrettably relegated to the historical sidelines, Rioux notes that “the same could have been said of just about any other woman writer of her era.” She goes on to investigate exactly why Woolson suffered her unjust fate when other names survived to the present day.

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 →