Tag Archives: Summer 2014

Selected Stories

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis translated by Rhett McNeil Dalkey Archive ($15.95) by Kristine Rabberman Machado de Assis is known for his blending of classic 19th-century style with a sensibility that seems to presage postmodernism. His ironic voice, his love of dark humor, and his predilection for reflexivity and metafictional frames make his works, such […]


Machado de Assis translated by Karen Sherwood Sotelino Latin American Literary Review Press ($19.95) by Douglas Messerli Brazilian novelist Joaquim María Machado de Assis is the author of several important 19th-century fictions—among them Quincas Borba (Philosopher or Dog?) (1892) and Dom Casmurro (1899)—that chronicled Brazilian society of the period, taking the reader into a world […]

Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn: The Collected Letters

Edited by Claudia Moreno Pisano University Of New Mexico Press ($59.95) by Eliza Murphy Intended “if not to overthrow, to at least disrupt the status quo of preconceived notions in American letters” by seamlessly incorporating snippets of historical details between the missives of two American literary figures, editor Claudia Pisano hit her mark. Instead of […]

On Amiri Baraka: Who Was That Masked Man?

by Richard Oyama “Who was that masked man?” I asked myself when Amiri Baraka passed in January. It wasn’t just that Baraka was a man of various gifts. He was a man of swift metamorphoses and violent repudiations, leaving wreckage and confusion, friends and former wives in his wake. The early “In Memory of Radio” […]


Cole Swensen University of California Press ($21.95) by Celia Bland Poetry may be, as Wordsworth opined, “emotion recollected in tranquility,” but a sub-genre of contemporary poetry could be described as “projects executed with efficiency.” Cole Swensen, a major practitioner in this sub-genre, dedicates herself to a certain topic of interest—the creation of the Crystal Palace, […]

Where the Blur Occurs

Jay Besemer and Magus Magnus on the Call of the Imaginary Jay Besemer’s most recent poetry collections are A New Territory Sought (Moria, $12.95) and Aster to Daylily (Damask Press, $10). As Jen Besemer, he also authored Telephone (Brooklyn Arts Press, $14.95) and Object with Man’s Face (Ohm Editions, $10), and has work in Troubling […]

Unchopping A Tree

W. S. Merwin drawings by Liz Ward Trinity University Press ($14.95) by James Naiden It has been well over half a century since W. S. Merwin won the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1952, at age twenty-five. Since then, he’s published prolifically, twice winning the Pulitzer Prize and once the National Book Award. He has […]

Selected Translations

W. S. Merwin Copper Canyon Press ($40) by Zack Rogow Justly famed as a poet, W.S. Merwin is also unparalleled in his reach as a translator of poetry into English. The index of his Selected Translations is a remarkable document in itself, listing thirty-three different languages from every continent, including Crow, Kabylia, Malgache, Occitan, Tzeltal, […]

Chatting with Henri Matisse

The Lost 1941 Interview Henri Matisse with Pierre Courthion translated by Chris Miller edited by Serge Guilbaut Getty Publications ($45) by Patrick James Dunagan Nearing what proved the last decade of his life Henri Matisse granted a series of interviews to Swiss art critic Pierre Courthion. At the time, as Matisse was recuperating from the […]

Pleading in the Blood

The Art and Performances of Ron Athey Edited by Dominic Johnson Intellect Books ($35.50) by Spencer Dew My first introduction to the work and life of Ron Athey—life as in saint’s life, a hagiography—was through Catherine Saalfield Gund’s documentary Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance at its debut in the 1998 Chicago Underground Film […]