Reviews

Let 'em eat kitsch

A review of Thomas Fink's 'Joyride'

Ceci n’est pas un article à propos de schtick (except perhaps as René Magritte might have it be). Thomas Fink’s glorious new book of poems presents us often with the joy of Yinglish, but in whole it is all about the magical present, and this is no coincidence.

'Let Her Speak'

The (not-so) quiet revolution of the reproductive, performative, and civic body

At right: Michele Battiste (top) and Pravithra Prasad (bottom) read from 'Let He
At right: Michele Battiste (top) and Pravithra Prasad (bottom) read from 'Let Her Speak' in Denver, Colorado, in November 2013.

In American politics, as well as arts and letters, the mind-body schism of Western dualism (dialectical materialism) rages on between “rational” or cerebral thought and syncretic understanding, normative and “non-normative” bodies and subjects (female, non-Caucasian, gay, trans, queer), and the rights of individual, collective, and state bodies. Injunctions against female self-representation in private and public (to say nothing of the right to labor or own property) dates back to the Greek polis, where women were considered domestic slaves.

Against apocalypse

A review of Ron Silliman's 'Revelator'

At right: “Phuket after Tsunami (2004)” by Milei Vencel; used with modification under CC Attribution-Share Alike license.

Somewhere along the way, Ron Silliman and his fellow L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets earned the reputation for being heartless.

'A grand collage'

A review of 'A Jerome Rothenberg Reader'

Published by Black Widow Press as part of their Modern Poets Series, Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader interweaves poems with prose work in a grand collage,[1] proffering a vivid map through the intellectual and procedural frameworks of Rothenberg’s oeuvre. 

Renee Gladman and the New Narrative

Little discourse exists today, at either pole of high literary theory or pop discourse, that narrativizes the bond between the individual writer and the reader in poetry or fiction, other than metaphors of the “literary market” as a collective purchasing power or critical arbiter of taste.