Posts by: Brian Spears

Why I Chose Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s Rocket Fantastic for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club

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Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s third collection, Rocket Fantastic, is a beautiful book which asks the reader to live in a world where gender and language are both fluid and linked together in a dance which swings, sways, and surprises at every turn. I’ve been a fan of Calvocoressi’s work for a long time, having taught both her previous books […]

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 15): “Southern History”

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We can’t hide from our history and we can’t pass it on to future generations.

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Why I Chose Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s Interrupted Geographies for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club

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I still remember the time many (many) years ago, as an undergrad, when my professor dropped Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and Sir Walter Ralegh’s response on the class and launched into a discussion of the pastoral tradition. Years later, when, as I was putting together a syllabus for a survey class, […]

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Why I Chose Erika L. Sánchez’s Lessons on Expulsion for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club

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Before I tell you more, a quick reminder that in order to receive your copy of Lessons on Expulsion, read along with the Poetry Book Club, and participate in our exclusive chat with Erika, you’ll need to to subscribe by May 20! I want to start with these lines from Erika L. Sánchez’s poem “Crossing, which appears […]

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Why I Chose Nikki Wallschlaeger’s Crawlspace for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club

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I’m always interested in the work of poets who use form in subversive ways, and while it’s true that the sonnet has long ceased to be just a love song, what Nikki Wallschlaeger does with it in her new collection Crawlspace, soon to be released by Bloof Books, is brilliant. The book is a collection of fifty-five sonnets, […]

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Why I Chose When I Grow Up I Want To Be a List of Further Possibilities for April’s Poetry Book Club

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I am drawn to poetry about the difficulties of family, about the pain of feeling one is a disappointment to their parents, about the sense of separation that can come as a result. Chen Chen’s debut collection is filled with work which explores this universe. This is tricky subject matter to tackle, because it lends itself […]

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Why I Chose Adrian Matejka’s Map to the Stars for March Poetry Book Club

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It started, as it often does, with a recommendation from a friend, in this case Gabrielle Calvocoressi. She sent me an email saying “You have to look at this book.” I would have anyway, because I’ve been a fan of Adrian Matejka’s work for a long time, and in fact, I wanted his last book, The […]

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What We’re Reading in December for the Rumpus Book Clubs!

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2016 quite a year, and the future is looking… interesting. But the Rumpus Book Clubs fight on, choosing books that challenge and delight and inspire month after month. We choose books that haven’t been released yet, which means our members get them before anyone else, and then we get to talk about each book with its author. There […]

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Big News for the October Rumpus Book Club

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October will be a homecoming of sorts for the Rumpus Book Club. Six and a half years ago, Stephen Elliott came up with this new idea for a book club—we’ll get books that haven’t been released yet and talk about them and chat online with the authors. Sometimes maybe club members will review the books […]

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September in the Rumpus Book Club

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This month, The Rumpus Book Club is reading Jade Chang’s debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, which Jami Attenberg calls her “favorite debut of the year,” and of which Kirkus Reviews writes, “A Chinese-American family tumbles from riches to rags in Chang’s jam-packed, high-energy debut… this debut novelist holds nothing back.” In our Poetry Book Club, we’re thrilled to read Janice […]

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August in the Rumpus Book Clubs

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We’re excited to announce August’s selections for the Rumpus Book Club and Poetry Book Club! In the Book Club, we’ll be reading Michael Helm’s After James, a novel “in three parts, each gesturing toward a type of genre fiction: the gothic horror, the detective novel, and the apocalyptic. Science and art become characters, and secrets […]

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Coming to the Rumpus Book Clubs in June

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The Rumpus Book Clubs have been around for over six years now and they remain unique in a couple of important ways. First, we only feature pre-release books—that is, books that haven’t gone on sale yet, so you’re getting copies before anyone else (sometimes before the authors receive their personal copies!). And, we give members the chance to chat […]

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Princess Leia: Feminist Hero

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Star Wars is a bit more pop-culture-y than we tend to do around here, but I can’t help but share this piece from Emily Hauser on why we should stop talking about “Slave Leia” (who’s only in that costume for three minutes) and instead talk about “Leia the Hutt Slayer”: We’re not the franchise, though. We’re the ones who […]

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