Tag Archives: Fall 2020

Mercy: A Memoir of Medical Trauma
and True Crime Obsession

Marcia Trahan Barrelhouse Books ($18) by Mary Mullen Marcia Trahan’s debut memoir, Mercy: A Memoir of Medical Trauma and True Crime Obsession, opens with the familiar narrative of a woman battling depression and a host of health problems escaping into true crime television drama. She is not simply watching, however—she is quick to let the […]

Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven

Vicente Huidobro Translated by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong Co-im-press ($19.95) by John Bradley The translators have given this long prose poem a double title: Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven. This duality befits a book that Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948) published in both Spanish, Temblor de Cielo (1931), and French, Tremblement de Ciel (1932). Huidobro’s poetic of […]

Son of Paper Son:
an interview with Koon Woon

Interviewed by David Fewster Born in China in 1949, Koon Woon emigrated to the U.S. in 1960 to join his family, who owned or managed a series of restaurants in the coastal towns of Washington and San Francisco. In his twenties, Woon was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder/paranoid schizophrenia and spent time in hospitals and […]

Entering the Blobosphere:
A Musing on Blobs

Laura Hyunjhee Kim Civil Coping Mechanisms ($15.95) by Joseph Houlihan The tradition of constraint in literature hinges on the proposition that a clever idea makes all the difference in the world. The Blobosphere is the defining concept for Laura Hyunjhee Kim’s phenomenal meditation Entering the Blobosphere: A Musing on Blobs. If the Blob still evokes […]

The Intangibles

Elaine Equi Coffee House Press ($16.95) by Fran Webber Written in her usual accessible style, Elaine Equi’s newest collection, The Intangibles, manages to be short and sweet as well as lingering, offering up pithy observations—whether of herself or strangers, t-shirts or wormholes—that can still prompt deeper contemplation. Equi’s poems are chewy, each bite releasing new […]

The World Has Been Empty
Since the Postcard

Fourteen Polemical Postcards Simon Cutts Ugly Duckling Presse ($12) by Ross Hair The World Has Been Empty Since the Postcard showcases fourteen “polemical” postcards, with accompanying commentary, by the British poet, artist, editor, and publisher Simon Cutts. A number of these postcards were originally published by Coracle, the press and gallery that Cutts started in […]

Pain Studies

Lisa Olstein Bellevue Literary Press ($16.99) by John Wall Barger I once sprained my ankle by jumping (inanely) to touch a street sign, landing sideways. My ankle turned purple, swelling up grotesquely. I could hardly sleep for a week. Then I healed and things went back to normal. In my life, fortunately, pain has been […]

Death in Her Hands

Ottessa Moshfegh Penguin Press ($27) by Erin Lewenauer Once again masterfully setting the innocuous and the poisonous side by side, Ottessa Moshfegh offers a slow burn thriller with her fourth book, Death in Her Hands. Seventy-two-year-old Vesta Gul is walking in the woods near her new home with her beloved dog Charlie when she encounters […]