In Pursuit of the Debutant

What to make of Stephen Sturgeon after reading his first book of poetry, Trees of the Twentieth Century? Sturgeon, the debutant? Sturgeon, the first major poet of his generation? Sturgeon, producer…

An Invitation to “Torment”

Torment, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is great pain or anguish, physical or mental. The word is derived from torquere, to twist, as when a rope that is part…

Ripple Effect: Lawrence Sutin

Lawrence Sutin’s writing caught my eye initially because he’d authored a biography of legendary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, and I am one of those PKD fans who finds…

Galvinizing Fury: Elizabeth Willis’ Address

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare has Theseus describe poetic undertaking as that which “gives to airy nothing / A local habitation and a name.” It is therefore fitting that Elizabeth…

A Letter from the Editor on Women in Literary Publishing

Recently [March 2011, –ed.], the literary cultural organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts released a report on women in magazine publishing, focusing particularly on book reviews. The results of their…

Writing the Cry: French and Francophone Literature

Is France still at the center of the French-language literary world? Or, to ask a broader question, is there a center at all? In the fall of 2006, five of…

eco language reader
Brenda Iijima, ed.
Softcover, $19.95
Nightboat Books, 2010

Continual Critique: After the After of Ecology

The texts included in The Eco Language Reader (edited by Brenda Iijima; Nightboat Books, 2010) are not attempts at one sort or another of a genre of “ecopoetics.” They remain usefully outside any…

Money Shot
by Rae Armantrout
Hardcover, $22.95
Wesleyan, 2011

The Lyric LangPo Alarm: Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout’s poetry is informed by two key sources: first, the radical poetics of 1960s San Francisco; second, the terse verse forms of William Carlos Williams, whose poetry she first…

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Last Rhapsody at Marienbad

Ben Mazer, now in his forties, looks like a terribly serious man in his photographs. He wants us to take his poetry seriously too. He publishes rarely and gravely: the…

Sex & Lies in Vintage Hollywood: Chuck Palahniuk‘s Tell-All

Told from the perspective of a surly, intelligent assistant-to-a-star Miss Hazie Coogan, Tell-All is a delicious slap in the face of an archetypal Hollywood of yesteryear. Like his previous novel…

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