Racquel Goodison reads Night Music

Racquel Goodison is an Assistant Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. She has been a resident at Yaddo and the Saltonstall Arts Colony, as well as a recipient of the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writer’s Grant and a scholarship to the Fine Arts Works Center.  Her stories, poems, and creative nonfiction have been nominated for the Pushcart. She has work forthcoming in All About Skin II, an anthology for award-winning Black women writers, and The Encyclopedia Project, Vol. L-Z.  Her chapbook, SKIN, was a finalist for the 2013 Goldline Press Fiction Chapbook competition.

Michael du Plessis reads The Jeweler

Michael du Plessis is the author of the novel The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker (Les Figues, 2012) and the chapbook Songs Dead Soldiers Sing (Chicago: Transparent Tiger Press, 2007).  His creative work has appeared in Narrativity, LitNet, and NatBrut, and with Janice Lee, in FANZINE and Plinth.  With Lee he is collaborating on a project of poems about decapitations in film and television.  He teaches in Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.

Review: Winter Mythologies and Abbots, Rimbaud the Son by Pierre Michon

By Art Beck

Pierre Michon, born 1945, won the Prix France Culture award in 1984 for his first book, a memoir of sorts, Vies Minuscules. In 2008, an English version, under the title Small Lives, was published by Archipelago Books with partial sponsorship of the French Ministry of Culture. Its translators, Jody Gladding and Elizabeth Deshays, were awarded the prestigious French American Foundation translation prize in 2009. Read More

Review: Hank Forest’s Party by Ascher/Straus

By Mary Burger

HankForestsParty

Hank Forest’s Party is the latest volume of a collaborative project, part novel, part memoir, part philosophy, written by Sheila Ascher and Dennis Straus and published under the name Ascher/Straus. The ongoing project Monica’s Chronicle, begun in the 1970s, is a narrative of the process of narration. Narrator Monica records experiences of everyday life in a neighborhood in Rockaway Park, Queens, and weaves her notes through reflections and reinterpretations about the connections between experience, memory, and writing. Read More

Review: Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa

By Heather Mackey

Severina

Short enough to be read in one sitting, Severina by Guatemalan master Rodrigo Rey Rosa lingers disproportionately long in the imagination. A seemingly straightforward tale of a bookseller’s obsession with an alluring book thief, Severina carries mysterious hints of the metaphysical as it makes sly jokes and asides about literary culture and bibliophilia.

An unnamed narrator encounters and falls in love with a woman, Severina, who repeatedly visits his bookstore and steals from him. He watches her and notes the titles she steals as if they are keys to her soul. He follows her. At one point she moves in with him. Yet however close he gets to her, she remains elusive. Why does she steal? Who is the older gentleman she travels with? What sort of life do they lead, these nomads who steer themselves by the currents of literature? Read More

Review: Definitely Maybe by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

By Ho Lin

DefinitelyMaybe

“Suddenly the front door swung open, and in walked…” This incomplete sentence, which occurs a third of the way into Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s delightful Definitely Maybe, is a tease, a taunt, and a mission statement. We’ve come to expect a certain amount of knottiness in our so-called serious literature and understand puzzlement is part of the game, yet it’s still a shock to encounter it in genre fiction, where at its best plot, character, and theme are still delivered in neat, enjoyable bundles. Suffice to say we never learn who walks in through that door and what happens immediately afterwards. Yet it doesn’t matter. Definitely Maybe is that rarest of creatures, a science fiction novella that is also a book of questions without answers. Read More

Review: Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot

By Emily May Anderson

SoulInSpace

The poems in Soul in Space, Noelle Kocot’s sixth collection, spark across its pages like synapses firing in the brain. Arranged in four sections with different formal conventions, the book doesn’t tell a coherent story, but, like the soul of the title, travels widely while retaining its own voice throughout.

In the Acknowledgments, Kocot credits her editor (Joshua Beckman at Wave Books) with arranging the book into its four numbered sections. The organization works, and it’s hard to imagine the sections being composed without that structure in mind, they flow so well. Read More