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Reviews

When Background Becomes Foreground: Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown

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Chinatown comes to vivid life in Yu’s hands.

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Constant Motion: Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

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More than a longing for an origin story, Hernandez Castillo’s memoir is an attempt to bring the invisible to light.

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Tech Is Boring: Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

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Luckily, Wiener offers us more than eloquent masochism.

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The Poem Must Forgive: E. J. Koh’s The Magical Language of Others

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Empathy and forgiveness must begin with understanding.

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How to Write about Nothing: Kate Zambreno’s Drifts

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But the evasion is purposeful, and the purpose is to marvelous effect.

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A Tightrope Act: Frozen Charlotte by Susan de Sola

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It’s de Sola’s genuineness in portraying this tightrope act that is Frozen Charlotte’s chief virtue.

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Frenetic, Excitable, and Direct: Sylvie Baumgartel’s Song of Songs

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This poem lets her—the speaker and Baumgartel—be too much.

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On Loss of Land and Loss of Girlhood: Taneum Bambrick’s Vantage

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Girlhood remains, like the land, a constant site of male fascination, desire, and violence.

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The Joypain of Parenting: Lydia Kiesling’s The Golden State

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This is both the exercise and exorcism of motherhood.

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Inhabitation and Invocation: Candice Wuehle’s Death Industrial Complex

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The speaker must believe in transience, in shapeshifting without permission.

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Queer Logic: Females and My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

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“Everyone is female, and everyone hates it.” A provocation. An invitation.

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Barbara Berman’s National Poetry Month Shout-Out

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Barbara Berman reviews seven poetry collections to celebrate National Poetry Month.

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The Joy of Play: Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces (10th Anniversary Ed.) by David Biespiel

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Biespiel offers a number of best practices—not just for writing poems, but for living a creative life.

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We Will Not Be Contained: Pretty Bitches and Too Much

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There will always be another word used against us.

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Ode to Girlhood: Olivia Gatwood’s Life of the Party

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The world that suffocates girls still has a lot to learn from them.

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The Privilege of Art: Courtney Maum’s Costalegre

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There is no real freedom to create art, only the obligation to wealth.

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Time Is Money: Porn Carnival by Rachel Rabbit White

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This isn’t a book about loss; rather, it’s a book about sheer willpower and intentionality.

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The Body Uncanny: Verge by Lidia Yuknavitch

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Though the stories vary in length and scope, each cuts deep into a truth of humanity.

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Writing Through: You Are No Longer in Trouble by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell

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There are no line breaks here because there are no breaks here.

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The Power of the Crone: Ursula K. Le Guin’s No Time to Spare

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Sweet, nurturing, platitude-accepting granny Le Guin is not.

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