Tag Archives: Spring 2017


Peter Boyle Vagabond Press ($29.95) by John Bradley “The mask maker had died / but the room kept weaving masks, / a galaxy of approaching worlds,” writes Ricardo Xavier Bousoño, in “I Do Not Trust That Word ‘Oxygen,’” one of the poems “translated” by Peter Boyle in Ghostspeaking. In this bold and ambitious book, Boyle […]

This Poem Is a House

Ken Sparling Coach House Books ($15.95) by Marissa McHugh There are elements of magical realism throughout Ken Sparling’s This Poem Is a House, a novel in verse by a highly regarded Canadian writer. The two main characters, a boy and a girl who do not have first names, see things that are not seen in […]

The Moravian Night

Peter Handke Translated by Krishna Wilson Farrar, Straus and Giroux ($27) by John Toren Reading a new novel by Peter Handke is like taking a month-long walk in the woods. You know it's going to be hard, you know long stretches are going to be dull, but you also know there will be some surprises […]

Linthead Stomp

Tim Earley Horse Less Press ($15) by Kent Weigle Tim Earley’s Linthead Stomp is a book that writhes and seethes like a briar of barbed wire. The title evokes the idea of the old south, impoverished and limping along, proud of the hard life. But the book is no friend of the past. It rails […]

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016

edited by Karen Joy Fowler series edited by John Joseph Adams Mariner ($14.95) by Ryder W. Miller Relatively new to the “Best American” anthologies, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 fills a gap of sorts in this distinguished series. This year’s guest editor is Karen Joy Fowler, who has written both genre fiction […]

Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems

Connie Wanek University of Nebraska Press ($19.95) by Edward A. Dougherty Rival Gardens is the second in University of Nebraska Press’s Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry series. In his introduction, the former Poet Laureate observes that Wanek’s poems “offer an indelible language to use while admiring our world.” This succinctly captures three hallmarks of Wanek’s work: […]

Driving without a License

Janine Joseph Alice James Books ($16) by Steve Fellner Janine Joseph’s debut collection of poetry Driving without a License couldn’t feel more urgent. Propelled by the topic of immigration and filled with heartbreaking relevance, the book still manages to treat the subject with a unique sense of humor that feels wholly appropriate. Courage and a […]

Cabo de Gata

Eugen Ruge translated by Anthea Bell Graywolf Press ($14) by Erin Lewenauer Failing to connect with others, traveling aimlessly, giving oneself over to change, being lost in translation, even to oneself—these themes sway together like dust in a ray of sunlight in German novelist Eugen Ruge’s second book. His story brings to mind the poem […]