Reviews

A proliferation of differences

A review of 'Troubling the Line'

In Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, the first anthology of its kind, editors TC Tolbert and Trace Peterson have included a wide diversity of aesthetic and social perspectives.

The solar vowels in our throats

A review of Meredith Stricker's 'Mistake'

Rosmarie Waldrop chose Meredith Stricker’s Mistake as the winner of the Caketrain Chapbook Competition in 2011. “Chapbook” seems a misnomer for the seventy-eight-page book, and the collection finds itself at the intersection of the most interesting work today in contemporary poetics. It is innovative without being apolitical, experimental without compromising emotional resonance, and uneasily categorized.

Living Dada

A review of 'Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada'

“Why should I — proud engineer — be ashamed of my machinery?”

In her poem “The Modest Woman,” published in the modernist literary magazine The Little Review in 1920, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven derides the prude and celebrates the female body and modern form.

Tunneling through the self

On Hoa Nguyen's 'As Long as Trees Last'

Living with As Long as Trees Last, Hoa Nguyen’s latest collection of poetry, is akin to living with Charles Olson — his endless exuberance, wide-ranging curiosity, and aesthetic agility, as well as his famous invocation of the body as a tunnel through which one must go to know more truly the self and the world around it.

The thing that doesn't fail

On Stephanie Young's 'Ursula or University'

Stephanie Young’s Ursula or University begins, “I guess it’s too late ...” and (nearly) ends, “It can be never for a very, very long time. And then it can be now.” In between, Young hovers and waits, worries and writes, enmeshed in a Bay Area poetry community that, to her, crackles with potential seismic energy she nevertheless fears may forever fail to unleash the earthquake that would justify its pressures and change the topography of power and privilege whose violence mars the utopia she can almost grasp.