What to Read When: Rumpus Staff Favorites 2018

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This year has been unrelenting. America and the world face a series of crises that we are ill-prepared to manage, let alone avoid. I am struggling to believe that next year might be different. I’m feeling hopeless, helpless, and unsure of what comes next. I know melany of you feel this way, too.

Of course, that is what we’re meant to feel. The patriarchal power structure is designed to silence voices of women, of people of color, of anyone who would challenge its foundation and seek its dismantling. And this is why we must continue on, and why we must keep making art.

When I look at the writing we’ve published at The Rumpus in 2018, it is impossible not to find hope and comfort. Our contributors shared stories, essays, poems, interviews, comics, and book reviews that investigate what it means to be alive in America today. We are honored by and thankful for all of their work.

I’ve asked my editors, the unsung heroes who volunteer to help keep this ship afloat, to share their favorite Rumpus pieces from 2018. I’ve shared mine, too. Please remember that if you aren’t named below, it doesn’t diminish your contribution to The Rumpus. Your words matter to me more than anything, and I stand proudly behind every piece that we published this year.

Love,
Marisa

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Marisa Siegel, Editor-in-Chief

I read everything that goes up at The Rumpus, across all sections. Really. Choosing favorites feels like choosing between my children (luckily I only have one actual kid, so I’ll never have to do this IRL). So, please forgive the long list that follows; I did my best to pare it down but am a proud momma.

We launched ENOUGH in November 2017, and week after week, our readers continue to give these stories attention, sharing them on social media and taking the conversation off the page out into the real world. To be able to offer this space for women and non-binary folx to share their experiences and to amplify the conversation around rape culture remains the most meaningful experience I’ve had as an editor thus far. I refuse to pick just one 2018 entry; every installment deserves our attention.

We introduced Rumpus Original Poetry as a regularly occurring series last year—twice a month, we run work from poets we love, including both established and emerging voices. This year, Poetry Editors Cortney Lamar Charleston and Carolina Ebeid brought in a stunning selection of gorgeous and important writing. My top three poetry picks:

I love Shira Erlichman’s featured poems for their inventive use of language—especially the way she makes nouns into verbs (“gasolined,” “pretzeled”). And, the images within these poems are both concrete and also wonderfully weird, offering us fresh insight and pathways into our own psyches. Each time I return to these poems, I am surprised anew at how deeply they resonate within me.

I was thrilled to give a home to three poems from Analicia Sotelo, whose phenomenal debut collection Virgin was released from Milkweed in February. In particular, “Private Property” cuts me to the quick and leaves me breathless. This poem also serves as a reminder that our poetry can be deeply personal and also wholly universal all at once.

Finally, I want to highlight Kristin Chang’s featured poems. Kristin just released her first chapbook, Past Lives, Future Bodies, in late October from Black Lawrence Press. Her language is vital, beautiful, and fierce; she is a poet who employs a deft knowledge of craft (those line breaks!) and an unrelenting honesty of subject matter, and the American poetry landscape is better for having her within it.

Also running twice a month, Rumpus Original Fiction had a banner year under the leadership of Karissa Chen and Dennis Norris II. Featuring stories from established writers like Laura Lippman, Adrienne Celt, and Hala Alyan alongside newcomers like Jade Jones and Ada Zhang, there isn’t a weak link to be found. I especially loved “One of Them Dies” by Carl Napolitano—one part fairy tale, one part horror story, and one part family drama, this piece kept me on my toes through its conclusion.

We run three interviews each week, and Interviews Editor Monet Patrice Thomas never disappoints. My top three interview picks:

Reading “An Ethnography of the Self: Talking with Morgan Parker” is like being a fly on the wall as Parker and interviewer Vivian Lee get real about writing across different genres, finding inspiration, and more.

In “How to Become a Poet: A Conversation with Ashley M. Jones,” Julie Marie Wade and Ashley M. Jones have a frank and illuminating discussion about the energy involved in maintaining a writing practice, how “history” and “the present” aren’t all that different, and advice for young writers.

Finally, in “Change Ourselves, Change the World: Talking with Lacy M. Johnson,” Johnson talks with Lilly Dancyger about her recent essay collection, The Reckonings, why justice should feel like joy and not hate, and the importance of choosing to sit with each other’s pain and discomfort.

Our Books Editor Abigail Bereola and Poetry Editor Molly Spencer are responsible for the awesome book reviews we publish most Wednesdays and Fridays. My top three picks:

“A Megaphone for a Generation: Coming of Age at the End of Nature reviewed by Miranda Perrone

“A Façade of a Woman: R. O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries reviewed by Christine No

“A Legacy of Wisdom: The Final Voicemails by Max Ritvo” reviewed by Risa Denenberg

And then there are the features. I agonized over this list, whittling it down from three pages of links to the five pieces below. I aimed to find an intersection between the writing that mattered most to me and the writing that felt most exemplary of the work I want The Rumpus to be doing.

With “Why Writing Matters in the Age of Despair,” Lyz Lenz wrote the essay we all needed to read this year. She reminds us that every story is “struggle of memory against forgetting” and “a struggle of nuance in the flat face of fascism.” She insists that our words matter now and always, and that the work we do as a community has deep meaning and consequence. Lyz has given so much to The Rumpus, and this essay, too, is a gift.

In “Coming Clean,” Ben Gwin writes with a careful poignancy (but never with sentimentality) about raising his daughter as a single father. With its crisp prose and keen choice of details, this essay lets readers really feel the uncertainty and fear of being a parent.

We received many timely submissions in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings, but Janelle Bassett’s “Bright Bright Bright Bright” hit closest to home for me. Bassett writes about being out on a sunny day with her young daughter, unsure what to do with her furious anger as she plays with her child at a local playground. This essay doesn’t offer a solution; rather, it reminds us that we must keep living whether we find a solution or not.

Tessa Hulls’s Spotlight comic, “My Dead Friend’s Favorite Book,” took my breath away. Hulls combines illustration and language to create a meaningful tribute to a dear friend who died in Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire. And, Hulls reminds us that books have a magic to them—a book can resurrect the dead and return what was lost to us, even if only while we linger between its covers.

Finally, in “Seeking Tierra Firma,” Carmella de los Angeles Guiol investigates the idea of belonging to a place, of what it means to put down roots even as the land underneath us changes and disappears. “Are we rootless, or simply free?,” she writes.

 

Elissa Bassist, Funny Women Editor

While all the pieces in the Funny Women column are my favorite, these five are extremely my favorite.

How many TV shows are about a murdered girl and who murdered her? Most? Probably for the first time ever, Charulata Sinha (in her first-ever publication) gives us the girl’s POV in “It’s Me, Dead Girl.” Aside from the glory and health benefits, the best part of editing a humor column is publishing writers who’ve never published before. Charulata Sinha knocked me out with this piece—we’ll see her name a lot more in the future.

Are you sick of emailing like a straightwhitecisman? One of my favorite humor writers on the Internet (and also a former student in my humor writing workshop) Janine Annett invented a new way to spend your entire day in “Femail, the Email System for Women.”

Hollywood needs to option Kathleen Founds’s “Manic Pixie Dream Girl, The Spin-Offs” today.

In “What Does It Mean When a Girl Is Quiet,” celebrity humor writer Mia Mercado helps us understand why girls just don’t talk that much. (Possibilities range from holding in a fart to institutional sexism.) You’re actually scientifically sexist if you don’t read this.

And, finally, if I see one more woman onscreen stripped down, strung up, chained to a wall, or otherwise brutalized in one of the thousands of ways male artists have dreamed up… oops, this post went off the rails. Please read Kate Heidel’s satirical piece, “Lifetime Network’s New Channel for Men,” about flipping the damsel paradigm.

 

Abigail Bereola, Books Editor

A good book review doesn’t need to be positive, but what a good book review about a good book does, first and foremost, is make you want to read the book. Here are four reviews that did that (and more!) for me:

“Twenty Years of Miseducation: Joan Morgan’s She Begat This reviewed by Zakiya Harris

“On Unsteady Ground: The Earthquake Room by Davey Davis” reviewed by Laura Thorne

“A Desi Win: Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar” reviewed by Ikya Kandula

“Fidelity to Deep Emotion: Lauren Groff’s Florida reviewed by Aleksandra Burshteyn

(On another note, these reviewers are all most definitely writers to watch.)

And, the first time I read Kelly Caldwell’s “The Torment of Queer Literature,” I felt stunned in all the best ways. It was truly an honor to publish this piece.

 

Cortney Lamar Charleston, Poetry Editor

Morgan Parker’s “Magical Negro #1”: When Parker wrote, “Y’all know / that nigger was a nigger” it shook me to the core. The “race” of Christ (in our fraught American understanding of it) is inconsequential to the historical record but does greatly matter insofar as the Jesus is a canvas upon which violent ideologies can be projected and protected to devastating effect. As a Black person, it feels good, perhaps even necessary, to have a Jesus who, if not being able to save you, suffers alongside you, who would die in your place.

William Brewer’s “Terminal”: While Brewer’s title most obviously relates to the scenery of the poem, in returning to it, I tend to think of the meaning of terminal as “predicted to lead to death, especially slowly, incurable.” Nobody dies in this poem, though there is catastrophe, and I find it quite apt for how it forces consideration of the way we consume disaster, how it gets filtered through cultural prisms and its gravity diluted, how our senses are dulled and we’re distanced just enough to be unusable as agents of resolution.

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal’s “Exercise in the Face of Divorce”: The grief of losing a relationship, a partner in life thought to be for all times, is a very particular grief, one that I hope to be spared from and one that I hope to spare another from in return. Given my own orientation, I recognize that this requires a constant project around the reconstruction of manhood and disabling its ability to bring harm into spaces of refuge. This poem makes me look at myself in all the difficult, necessary ways, and I’m grateful for it.

Allie Marini’s “Moving Targets”: Right off the bat, I fell in love with the ambitions of this essay, how it attempts (and succeeds, in my opinion) in tying together different strains of violence in our body politic and collapses it to common root. Here, in ways overt and subtle, we interrogate the failures of masculinity, the fallacy of safety, the entrenchment of white supremacy, and the pervasiveness of anxiety. Here we resign ourselves to fear or, more hopefully, come to fear our resignation.

 

Karissa Chen, Fiction Editor

First, “RememberYou” by Claire Miye Stanford. I love how its speculative slant tackles grief and motherhood and regret in a way that feels very accurate to the ways we tend to hit the replay button on life-altering events. The prose is quietly beautiful, resulting in a story that is both painful and poignant.

Jade Jones’s “Today, You’re a Black Revolutionary” is a story that, when I first read it, I thought I knew where it was going to go, but then it surprised me. It fits so well with the current political moment but also shows how complicated being “political” can be. The story is both funny and grim with hints of hope and indignation—perhaps capturing the ways I feel most of the time when I’m reading news these days.

We published three flash fictions by Maggie Cooper: “The City,” “The Convent,” and “The Island.” They’re these beautiful feminist fables that I find both haunting and powerful in their magical realist imagery. They’re the type of stories I think we need to read in this day and age.

Finally, I want to give some love to Aubrey Hirsch’s “Survivors.” What I love about the comic is that it is strange and speculative, and at its heart asks the questions of what is humanity and what makes a mother in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s carefully told, with emotion brimming beneath every panel.

 

Carolina Ebeid, Poetry Editor

I love “The Vault” poems by Andrés Cerpa, which are written with spare and wispy lines, but “wispy” in the way that cloud systems look wispy from afar though they are churning, and dynamic, and not a little bit dire.

Tyree Daye’s “Field Notes on Leaving,” a selection for National Poetry Month, is a poem sequence that captures my attention from the first stanza as it refuses the stargazer’s maps, as the poet creates his own cosmology.

I’m still under the perplexing spell of “The Cyborg Watches a Video of a Neo-Nazi Saying Her Name” by Franny Choi. It’s such a strange conceit, and the form attains the sense of a digital transcript of surveillance as well as its threat.

I am so glad the literary world is recognizing the tremendous talent of J. Michael Martinez, whose book Museum of the Americas was long listed for the National Book Award. I hope our readers will check out “Constellation of Identity: A Conversation with J. Michael Martinez” where he shows the depth, heights, and rigor of his imagination.

 

Janet Frishberg, Assistant Interviews Editor

I’d like to highlight Monet Patrice Thomas’s interview with Allie Rowbottom. Their conversation touches on the inherently subjective nature of memoir writing, how to channel the voices of loved ones who’ve passed, and the complicated nature of financial privilege. The interview offered a great window into the tensions at play when writing a memoir, and the book it focuses on, Jell-O Girls, is fascinating and complicated.

 

Julie Greicius, Senior Features Editor

“Killer Whales,” Anne Valente’s lyrical essay about her experience of miscarriage, and her primal feeling of connection with the story of a mother orca who carried her dead calf for seventeen days, is devastatingly beautiful and filled with the wisdom of how pregnancy, even unfulfilled, impacts a woman’s life.

Amanda Rebuck, on the other hand, finds a metaphor for motherhood in her experience of being deployed for military service in Iraq in “Effacement of the Mother.” She considers the toll on the mind and body, her ambivalence toward her own sense of duty, and a feeling of trying to make herself whole again when the effects of maternity and military service have changed her mind and body forever.

 

Brandon Hicks, Comics Editor

I’d like to highlight Kevin Thomas’s always-great “HORN! Reviews,” which has been published at The Rumpus for eight years now. His poetic illustrated reviews are unmatched. A favorite example of how Kevin draws inspiration from the books he’s read to create his own work and share his own message is his January 2018 review of Achieving Our Country.

We ran Alli Katz’s strange and wonderful workplace opus “Robot Office” through most of 2018. Fun, four-panel jokes about a green-haired purple woman working in a seemingly empty office: Is it heaven? Hell? A post-apocalyptic landscape? Whatever it is, it’s funny and charming, and I’m glad to have shared it at The Rumpus. “Happy Hours” is, for me, indicative of the series as a whole, but each of the forty-four installments are worth revisiting.

Small-town comics journalist extraordinaire Deb Lucke continues to grace us with new installments of her beautiful series “In Situ,” where she brings local stories to life with humor, heart, and personality—and an expert pen. My personal favorite, “The Year of the Rooster,” is perhaps the only “In Situ” that isn’t journalistic, but I love it just the same.

We’ve also had an incredible selection of Spotlight features this year. It’s extremely difficult to pick a favorite among them, but if pressed, I would have to highlight “Survivors” by Aubrey Hirsch—a sad, bizarre, but ultimately delightful sci-fi story about a woman carrying a Neanderthal child.

 

Christine H. Lee, Features Editor

Whitney Lee’s “Promises” was part of our Mothering outside the Margins series, and her essay gives us a snapshot of the complex intersectionality of motherhood. As a doctor, Whitney loses a pediatric patient, witnessing a tragic and life-altering loss from the perspective of an outsider—one who is trained to emotionally “compartmentalize” her work as a physician. And yet, she too is a mother, which makes such compartmentalization impossible. What ensues says so much about the complicated nature of mothering.

“The Abbatoir“ is a dark and complicated essay about the intricate nature of trauma and inheritance by Lisa Lee Herrick. It is about a visit to an abbatoir—but it is also about the death of innocence and the cycle of abuse within a family and within a cultural context. Lisa writes without condemnation and with deep understanding of what makes up these complicated dynamics, and shows the resolve it takes to navigate the terrain of family trauma on the page.

 

Robbie Maakestad, Senior Features Editor

In “Death and Rebirth: Armenians in Jerusalem,” Anna Gazmarian writes of encountering an unexpected familial connection while traveling in Jerusalem, which pushes her to trace the city’s connection to the Armenian diaspora and to attempt a definition of what “home” means to her grandfather—an Armenian who grew up in Jerusalem. Plus, it also has a fantastic photo of a cat in Jerusalem from the 1940s!

In “Sweet Bird,” Lesley Jenike weaves together a discussion of race, an analysis of Joni Mitchell’s discography, and an examination of the film Raintree County, creating a brilliant fragmentary-coherence that feels just right.

Finally, in “How to Steal a Frozen Burrito,” Roberto José Andrade Franco creates an essay that is one part tongue-in-cheek explication of how he stole frozen burritos from grocery stores, and one part provocative analysis of American class and racial inequality.

 

Ian MacAllen, Deputy Editor

In “On Becoming a Person of Color,” Rachel Heng, author of the debut novel Suicide Club, explores the intersection of American racism and immigration. A native of Singapore, she acknowledges she “won the lottery of birth” growing up in a wealthy, advanced nation where she was in the racial majority—and considers what it means to be labeled a person of color in the United States.

And in “Mom Vagina,” Maggie Kim gets personal about the physical impact giving birth has had on her body, as well as the emotional toll that left her “sexless after the second baby. Neutered. My identity had been subsumed by motherhood and every nerve ending was frayed.”

Finally, in “You Like That, Baby?: The Myth of Feminine Mystery,” Internet dating inspires Jen Corrigan to examine how the portrayals and myths of the mysterious female body and of female desire only makes shitty men shittier.

 

Amanda Malone, Assistant Interviews Editor

First, “Funny Women: Manic Pixie Dream Girl, The Spin-Offs” by Kathleen Founds. I would watch the hell out of these if they were made into actual films.

Next, “Voices on Addiction: Flight Patterns” by Tessa Torgeson. The Voices on Addiction series as a whole is amazing and necessary reading, and I think the detail and vulnerability in this piece makes it a great representation of how powerful the stories in the series can be.

Finally, “Our Beautiful Fragility: A Conversation with Lisa Locascio”—not to seem too biased, but this discussion between my co-Assistant Interviews Editor Janet Frishberg and author Lisa Locascio was such a pleasure to edit. In particular, the section about feminine scatology was just *chef’s kiss* beautiful.

 

Lisa Mecham, Senior Features Editor

“Reinventing the World: José Olivarez’s Citizen Illegal reviewed by Frank Johnson

The poet does not have to convince himself that what is different is actually the same so that he might know some way to love it. That’s real magic, and that’s important work for all of us as human beings.

A fantastic, dynamic review of Citizen Illegal, the debut collection from José Olivarez—a poet whose work is more critical than ever.

“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Strawberry Field” by Yoojin Grace Wuertz
After a visit to a strawberry field with her son this summer, Yoojin Grace Wuertz used Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” as inspiration to reflect on what was happening to children at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy:

12. In six weeks, two thousand children have been separated from their parents for crossing the Southwestern US border. Many of these families sought asylum from systemic or domestic violence. Some of these children are nursing infants, as young as eight months old.

13. In thirty-four months, the number of nights I have slept away from my child is two.”

The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Justin Phillip Reed, edited by Brian Spears

Connotation is wild and vigorous and proliferate and one of my favorite things to struggle with.

Before he won the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry for his collection, Indecency, Justin Phillip Reed chatted with The Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Hearing directly from poets is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Dennis Norris II, Assistant Fiction Editor

“Today, You’re a Black Revolutionary” by Jade Jones

“Even the Moon” by Esmé-Michelle Watkins

“Handsome Cab” by Hilary Leichter

 

Ben Pfeiffer, Features Editor

I still think about T.S. Mendola’s powerful, unflinching essay “Rivers of Babylon: The Story of a Third-Trimester Abortion.” Good writing should approach complex, difficult subjects, whether funny or tragic, and should deal with them in a discursive, elegant way, raising everyday trauma to the level of art. This essay is as artful and as powerful as anything I’ve read.

Another essay close to my heart is one I edited, Andrea Askowitz’s “Curse of Beauty.” It follows Andrea’s struggles with her daughter’s beauty, and her daughter’s relationship to Andrea and to the world at large. It’s insightful, funny, and heartwarming. Andrea put a lot of care and effort into shaping the piece, too, and the final, published version could not have turned out better.

Finally, I love Emily Alford’s essay, “Hannibal Lecter, My Therapist.” It’s both absurd and horrifying, like The Silence of the Lambs, and so well written and interesting. And, it’s illustrated by the great Trisha Previte, whose art I also love. I think about one image from the essay, a snake being burned alive in an oven, quite a lot—both the drawing itself and the section of text it’s created for.

 

Brian Spears, Senior Poetry Editor

“Rumpus Original Poetry: Three Poems by Joy Priest” by Joy Priest

“David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Whitman’s Notebook: Summer Grass” by David Biespiel

“Reinventing the World: José Olivarez’s Citizen Illegal by Frank Johnson

“The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #137: Aimee Nezhukumatathil” by KB Kinkel

 

Molly Spencer, Poetry Editor

Reviews make us better readers (and better writers) by putting words to something we, as reader, sensed about a book, but couldn’t articulate; or by expanding our ideas about a book; or by placing a book in a context we may have missed; or by revealing elements of craft we hadn’t considered; or by doing all of these things. As an editor, I’m grateful for all Rumpus reviewers, and wouldn’t publish a review that I didn’t consider excellent. But as a reader (and writer) of poems (and reviews), here are my favorite reviews from The Rumpus this year:

In his review of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Half-Finished Heaven, Aaron Belz describes Transtromer’s use of disparate, and sometimes surreal, images as “things that, though different, seem to belong on the same plane.” I’ve become a better reader of Transtromer’s poems by thinking of them as enactments of geometrical planes (and this is an interesting way to read a lot of poems, not just Tranströmer’s).

In her review of Samantha Zighelboim’s The Fat Sonnets, Molly Fisk brings the book to life by placing her own life inside it: “I weigh more than Arnold Schwarzenegger,” she writes, “and am eating breakfast when I read [the poems] the first time.” In this move, Fisk reminds us that to read (and review) a book well is to let one’s humanity into the act of reading. Fisk’s review also engages beautifully with the craft of, and Zighelboim’s simultaneous embrace and remaking of, the sonnet form.

Although I laughed out loud throughout Erin Adair-Hodges’s Let’s All Die Happy, I never thought to examine the book through the lens of the craft of comedy until I read Lizzie Hutton’s review of the book. Hutton’s framework, along with her sparkling intellect and language, made me a better reader of Adair-Hodges, and all poetry that uses humor, by describing the poems as “often pivot[ing] sharply between the shock of immediate experience and the occasion of meaning-producing recollection—producing a double-take with existential interests.” That double-take is what all the best humorous poems enact, and I’m grateful to Hutton for giving me the words for it.

Frank Johnson’s review of José Olivarez’s Citizen Illegal places this collection within particular traditions, literary and otherwise—one of the most useful ways a reviewer can illuminate a book for readers. The first tradition is that of magic: “for the poet, magic is everywhere, not just a power to be wielded by the special,” writes Johnson, and reminds us that a poem is a spell with the power to rewrite the world, if only for as long as we read the poem. Johnson also places the poems in the context of Audre Lorde’s description of “our tendency to understand differences as possessing an inherent value in a natural hierarchy,” and notes that Citizen Illegal creates a world where differences coexist emphatically. Lastly, Johnson identifies the influence of hip-hop in Olivarez’s work—and reminds us that the oppression of one group of people clears the way for oppression of another group, and that art forms, and revolutions, feed and feed off of one another.

 

Monet Patrice Thomas, Interviews Editor

Garrard Conley’s interview with Thomas Page McBee about his newest book, Amateur, is a powerful examination of masculinity.

Nicole Schmidt’s interview with Monica Prince offers a great entry point to a lesser known style of poetry called “choreopoems.”

Finally, my interview with Kiese Laymon about his newest book, Heavy: An American Memoir, because this is a book we should all read.

 

Liz Wood, Features Editor

“Blind Hunger, Black Bodies, and Radiohead’s In Rainbows by Nicholas Russell
Music essays, at their best, are radically personal, surprising the reader with the quality and depth of associations gleaned from otherwise familiar material. Russell’s essay articulated a relationship with Radiohead’s album In Rainbows that was so particular to his experience and rich in its analysis that it toppled previous conceptions of what it meant to have a relationship with Radiohead. In this sense, and in others, it was, for me, the perfect music piece.

“Songs of Our Lives: ‘Off to War’” by Kelly Fig Smith
This is an incredible essay about a song from the soundtrack to Legends of the Fall. Does it get much more surprising than that? Smith manages to take a little-celebrated soundtrack and find within it meaningful commentary on the ways we learn to listen. Her piece opens the reader up to remembering the experience that is music, the encounter it represents, beyond any idea of what is “cool.”

“Swinging Modern Songs #89: In Praise of Tom Petty” by Rick Moody, et al.
I begged writers I knew to write about the impact of Tom Petty on their lives, and everyone came up short. Friends who regularly DJ’d hours-long Petty blocks at the end of all of our late-twenties nights fell silent. There is a difficulty involved in elegizing a musician who was such an integral part of our world, of course—but for this reason I am grateful for the time Moody takes, along with his co-writers, to break down the breadth and scope of Petty’s influence.

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Feature image by Liam Golden.

Additional image credits (in order of appearance): ENOUGH logo art by Luna Adler. “One of Them Dies” art by Anna McGlynn. “Bright Bright Bright Bright” art by Leesa Travis.“Seeking Terra Firma” art by Aubrey Nolan. “Femail, the Email System for Women” art by Kaili Doud. “The Torment of Queer Literature” art by Briana Finegan. “Moving Targets” art by Briana Finegan. “Today You’re a Black Revolutionary” art by Mike Tré. “Effacement of the Mother” art by Adreinne Travis. “The Abbatoir“ art by Lisa Lee Herrick. “You Like That, Baby?: The Myth of Feminine Mystery” art by Lauren Friedlander.  “Hannibal Lecter, My Therapist” art by Trisha Previte