Reviews

'Do it like this'

Lisa Robertson's '3 Summers'

One must swim in language and sink, as though lost, in its noise, if a proof or a poem that is dense is to be born. — Michel Serres[1

I want pause in vocation. Venus
chatoyant in the formal dream
please tranquilize efficient Mars and his
efficient interests. Do it like this: — Lisa Robertson[2]

'The earth angel, sorting time'

A review of Carrie Hunter's 'Orphan Machines'

Photo of Carrie Hunter (left) by Steffi Drewes, taken March 2016 at the Featherboard Writing Series in Oakland, CA.

In her second full-length collection, Orphan Machines, Carrie Hunter invites readers to share her preoccupations with philosophy, sexuality, and music.

'playback on the rise'

The Señal chapbook series

US cultural diplomacy with Latin America seems a low priority under the current administration, and this makes me more grateful than ever for the Señal poetry chapbook series. These poems and their English translations engage questions about the intersections of Latin American and US history, culture, and language — implying that what is received in literature and culture bears examination.

'The protests became a poem'

Liu Waitong's 'Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits'

Photo of Hong Kong (right) via Wikimedia Commons.

What is it to be a Hong Kong poet writing now? Specifically, a Hong Kong poet who grew up over the border in Guangdong, who has lived also in Beijing; whose poems register the pull of other cities from Lhasa to Paris, and the pull of China not only as a literary inheritance all the way back to Zhuangzi, but also as a geopolitical giant changing daily even as Hong Kong itself changes? For Liu Waitong, it means to be accompanied always by ghosts. But it means also to seek them out and keep them company in turn — to haunt with them.

The hymn of journals, poetic and public

Right: East Village, NYC, via Seaotterpup on Wikimedia Commons.

With today’s ubiquitous social media and all that sharing entails, the idea of poetry that delves into the personal and utilizes actual journals would command an especially astute and unique precision — one that Stacy Szymaszek’s Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals deftly delivers, reminding us of the raw power of the poetic personal / personal poetic, and how uncommon poetry with this kind of depth is nowadays.

With today’s ubiquitous social media and all that sharing entails, the idea of poetry that delves into the personal and utilizes actual journals would command an especially astute and unique precision — one that Stacy Szymaszek’s Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals deftly delivers, reminding us of the raw power of the poetic personal / personal poetic, and how uncommon poetry with this kind of depth is nowadays.