Weekend Rumpus Roundup


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. A well-chosen order helps to keep the collection cohesive. Cruz’s “narrative,” Lennon writes, “is a weaving of dreams and visions, drugs, madness, the ups and downs, days of light and of darkness, of a depressive, or of a madwoman.”

Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks shares a story of disassociation and distraction in “My Roommate’s Trick.”

Finally, dreams of glory in the world of competitive swimming dominate Edward Helfers’s world in the Sunday Essay. As a teen, Helfers pushes himself relentlessly, training his body to the point of exhaustion. One day, he watches a thirteen-year-old Michael Phelps compete in the butterfly. The encounter leads Helfers to reevaluate his Olympic dreams.

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 →