A review of Zero at the Bone by Christian Wiman

Poetry gives suffering form, and giving suffering form is an antidote to despair.  Yet content matters, too.  For Wiman, much confessionalism is “an idolatry of suffering…an outrage that no person (or group) has suffered as we have, or simply a solipsistic withdrawal that leaves us maniacally describing every detail of our cells.


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A review of Lucky by Jane Smiley

Smiley’s underlying theme, however, is the precariousness of this immortality. While presenting Jodie’s maturation  as a woman and artist, she  quietly notes some major historic events of the passing era.

A review of The Homesick Mortician by Peter Mladinic

There is an urgency to this breaking down of line structure, often bridged by run-on thoughts strung together by comma fasteners. It is a compelling style, one that makes the collection very readable at a quick clip. In some cases, as with the first poem, structure reasserts itself at the end with a strong strike upon the bell of reality: “They brought him home.”

An Interview with Angélica Lopes

The author of The Curse of the Flores Women talks about her new book and its inspiration, its Brazilian setting of rural Pernambuco, lacemaking, historical fiction, feminism, the differences between writing scripts for movies and TVs and writing novels, research, writing YA and lots more.

An Interview with Jolene Gutierrez

Now fifty—looks 30—Gutiérrez feels like she’s just hitting her stride as an author. I had the chance to sit down in her inviting library, surrounded by books and stained glass, to talk about writing, kids, libraries, and the power and joy of books.