Reviews

A fierce intellectual pacifism

Riding's 'Contemporaries and Snobs'

In writing on poetics, we often find a necessary equivocation. Turning over the pages of an old issue of Poetry, you might discover “The Meaning of Simplicity” by poet Yannis Ritsos. In its simplicity the final stanza of the short poem opens questions for the reader, revealing something unsayable and elusively poetic.

Writing between

A review of 'Writing Surfaces: Selected Fiction of John Riddell'

Writing Surfaces: Selected Fiction of John Riddell presents a sampling of the Canadian poet’s work from 1969 through 1994. Though some of Riddell’s works can be found online, including at UbuWeb, most of his work is difficult to find in print. Writing Surfaces is a concise and accessible introduction to Riddell’s writings, one which hopefully will serve to raise Riddell’s profile among a new generation of readers.

The memoir where it matters

A review of Eleni Sikelianos's 'You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek)'

And I then came to Karthage. This is, truly, a blinding opportunity. And it will fall, but the book, in the severing action of its detailing, will not:

This is the bodies: On Jena Osman and Rob Fitterman

For a few months in 2014, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented a small exhibition of photographs by John Divola titled As Far As I Could Get. The exhibit encompassed one square room presenting prints from four different photographic series. In the title series, As Far As I Could Get, Divola has placed his camera on a tripod and set the shutter on a ten-second timer. As he starts the exposure’s countdown, he runs off into the distance marked by the camera’s gaze.

Complex orphaning

A review of Jose Perez Beduya's 'Throng'

One could write an essay placing “The Search Party,” the first poem in Jose Perez Beduya’s debut collection, Throng, in the context of other poems of landscape and complex orphaning, from Blake’s “The Little Boy Lost” to Roethke’s “The Lost Son” to the William Matthews’s poem with which Beduya’s shares a title.