Weekend Rumpus Roundup


First, Brandon Hicks exercises his satirical muscle in “The Cartoonists: Profiles.”

Then, in the Saturday Essay, Steven D. Howe bravely exposes his relationship with his father to the light, a relationship bruised by alcoholism and Howe’s own fear of perpetuating the cycle of addiction. In the end, the pain caused is tempered by moments of genuine paternal warmth.

Next, Ventriloquy, by Athena Kildegaard, is the subject of a scholarly review by Wendy Chin-Tanner. Kildegaard’s “lush vocabulary” couches a wide-ranging collection of poems about both very big and very small ideas. It is a “strong, unapologetically feminist collection” worth our attention.

Meanwhile, the “poetic” and “political” unite in Sarah Einstein’s review of Penny Guisinger’s thought-provoking memoir, Postcards From Here. Love and anxiety bracket the author’s descriptions of her happy relationship with her partner, Kara, during the historic moments following Maine’s legalization of same-sex marriage. Guisinger writes:

While the life that’s explored is one whose extraordinariness is quickly—thanks to the Supreme Court decision to make marriage equality the law of the land—becoming ordinary, the lyricism of these essays remains exceptional.

Finally, in a special Sunday Interview, a coalition of writer-editors discuss a variety of experiences regarding race and racism in the publishing world. Jennifer Niesslein, Patrice Gopo, Lisa Factora-Borchers, Deesha Philyaw, and Tamiko Nimura share and engage with memories that are real and sometimes disturbing. All agree that publishing work in the modern age most likely means working with a white editor and, often, writing for a white audience, which suggests certain verities about a text’s reception.

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 →