FALL 2003

Brenda Hillman, Joseph McElroy, Craig Watson, and more...


Our Very Greatest Human Thing Is Wild: An Interview with Brenda Hillman
Interviewed by Sarah Rosenthal
Brenda Hillman discusses the unique position she holds as a poet, straddling lyric and postmodern aesthetics in an increasingly antipodean poetic community.

"Failure. Building. Embrace": An Interview with Joseph McElroy
Interviewed by Trey Strecker
One of contemporary fiction's most inventive wordsmiths, Joseph McElroy discourses on the aesthetics of his novels in his inimitable style.

Architectures of Absence: An Interview with Craig Watson
Interviewed by Chris McCreary
Unaffiliated with any poetic school, Craig Watson discusses the recurring dynamics in his work.


Collecting Speculative Fiction
Essay by Alan DeNiro
Two new anthologies of speculative fiction from small independent publishers tackle the permeability of genre.


Michel Houellebecq
If the pure product of America is insanity, what have we gotten from the French--le petit mort and the bitter rant? Houellebecq has again combined the two in PlatformReviewed by Joel Turnipseed

The Fortress of Solitude
Jonathan Lethem
Meet the next contender for the Great American Novel--Jonathan Lethem's sprawling epic in which the lives of two child superheroes careen toward dark adult fates. Reviewed by Eric Lorberer

Wolf Dreams
Yasmina Khadra
Khadra offers an intensely stark and provocative portrait of the culture of violence in contemporary Algeria in the person of Walid, an aspiring actor who gets swallowed up in the military-religious fervor of the Islamic Salvation Front. Reviewed by Kevin Carollo

Waiting for an Angel
Helon Habila
Confronting the legacy of political imprisonment in Africa, Habila follows the life of an aspiring Nigerian writer who becomes a journalist and is subsequently imprisoned. Reviewed by Christopher J. Lee

Ten Little Indians
Sherman Alexie
In this collection of nine stories, Alexie challenges many stereotypes people have about American Indians, including those held by Indians themselves. Reviewed by Anne Bergen-Aurand and Brian Bergen-Aurand

One More For The Road
Ray Bradbury
One of the best short-story writers ever, Bradbury offers a new collection of twenty-five wondrous stories of the fantastic and the macabre. Reviewed by Ryder Miller


Surrealism and Painting
André Breton
Celebrate the republication of this out-of-print gem from Surrealism's most outspoken proponent. Reviewed by Jay Besemer

To Have and To Hold
Phillip Blom
Blom illustrates the ideological differences in collecting thorough, colorful biographies of collectors who were lurid, weird, daring, polymathic, and dark, and considers them from every angle in the context of social change. Reviewed by Allison Slavick

The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don't Think for Themselves
Curtis White
Destined to become the pop-intellectual scandal of the season, White's latest collection of essays attempts to awaken America to a more socially-engaged imagination. Reviewed by Steve Healey

The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics
Barrett Watten
Much less a book for Russian scholars than for those interested in literary theory, contemporary poetry, and American cultural studies, The Constructivist Moment collects Watten's essays from the last ten years. Reviewed by Brent Cunningham

Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America
Laura Wexler
Wexler explores the true story but still unsolved mystery of the last mass lynching in America. Reviewed by Jack Gilden


The New Directions Anthology of Chinese Poetry
edited by Eliot Weinberger
Just as a translator must compromise between fidelity to the original text and creating a well-written and moving poem in English, Weinberger's anthology presents both the range of classical Chinese poetry and a catalogue of translations to compare and contrast. Reviewed by Lucas Klein

Dennis Phillips
In his ninth collection of poems, Phillips's beautifully sedate work places pressure on syntax in order to yield an opening away from familiarity. Reviewed by Deborah Meadows

All Around What Empties Out
Linh Dinh
Dinh addresses the lessons of architectural structure in the form of poetry, creating new ways to break into a poem like a thief may break into a "house with no doors." Reviewed by Chris Pusateri

Rattlesnake Plantain
Heidi Greco
The pairing of a poisonous snake and a wild plant in the title may give you a hint of the otherworldly landscape of these poems. Reviewed by Nathan G. Thompson

Ode Ode
Michael Farrell
Channeling Frank O'Hara, Farrell performs feats of daring elisions and jarring enjambments with lots of fast-talking whimsy. Reviewed by Aaron McCollough

The Good Kiss
George Bilgere
Bitterness. Nostalgia. Anger. Love. Humor. Wonder. Bilgere can do it all in a single poem. Reviewed by Nicole Trokey

Rain Taxi Online Edition, Fall 2003 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2003