Tag Archives: Summer 2016

Paper Girls, Volume 1

Brian K. Vaughn & Cliff Chiang Image Comics ($9.99) by Amelia Basol There are a lot of reasons to like Paper Girls, one of the latest outings from the fecund mind of writer Brian K. Vaughn. Foremost among them is the quartet of title characters, middle school girls with paper routes in 1988, when “paper […]

The Ethos of Irony: An Interview with Lee Konstantinou

by Dylan Hicks The great lexicographer, grammarian, and wit H. W. Fowler, quoted in Lee Konstantinou’s Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction (Harvard University Press, $39.95), explained that irony required a “double audience” made up of “one party that hearing shall hear & shall not understand & another party that, when more is meant than […]

Germany: A Science Fiction

Laurence A. Rickels Anti-Oedipus Press ($19.95) by Andrew Marzoni That Bob Arctor—an undercover narcotics agent known to his employers as “Fred” and addicted to Substance-D, a drug referred to by its users as “Death”—begins to hear imaginary radio transmissions of Goethe’s Faust should signal to readers of Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly […]

Black Movie

Danez Smith Button Poetry / Exploding Pinecone Press ($12) by Mary Austin Speaker Danez Smith’s Black Movie is a cinematic tour-de-force that lets poetry vie with film for the honor of which medium can most effectively articulate the experience of Black America. Its cover, designed by Nikki Clark, resembles a Spike Lee movie poster, with […]


Tamara Faith Berger Badlands Unlimited ($12.95) by Corwin Ericson Kuntalini, Tamara Faith Berger’s short yoga-based pornographic novel, is published by the Badlands Unlimited New Lover series, an homage to Olympia Press’s Traveller’s Companion books, which were designed to slip transgressive literature past customs inspectors. Having no border to cross, I brought my copy to the […]

Firewood and Ashes & Geis

Firewood and Ashes: New and Selected Poems Ben Howard Salmon Poetry / DuFour Editions ($24) Geis Caitríona O'Reilly Wake Forest University Press ($13.95) by M. G. Stephens Ben Howard writes a flawless blank verse, which he often hinges onto a narrative structure in an almost novelistic way. His iambics are as thorough and stately as […]

My Escapee

Corinna Vallianatos University of Massachusetts Press ($24.95) by Shane Joaquin Jimenez Is escape possible? This is the central question in Corinna Vallianatos’s debut collection, My Escapee, a winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction. These are stories constellated around women: elderly, young, married, widowed, sick, alienated. While these women appear on the surface […]

You Are A Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations

Mike Edison Sterling Publishing ($17.95) by Bridget Simpson The title of Mike Edison's newest memoir, You Are A Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations, is taken from some of the last words his father ever said to him; the very last, moments later, being "I can't believe someone as smart as you likes […]

Real Artists Have Day Jobs (And Other Awesome Things They Don’t Teach You in School)

Sara Benincasa William Morrow ($14.99) by Christian Corpora Sara Benincasa is the eccentric, fearlessly honest aunt you didn’t know you needed. She has published three books, including a coming-of-age story about a middle school trip to Washington, DC, a comedic retelling of The Great Gatsby, and a painfully funny memoir detailing life with mental illness, […]


Athena Kildegaard Tinderbox Editions ($15) by Heidi Czerwiec Ventriloquy unites the expansive outlook of poet Athena Kildegaard with the recent expansion of Minnesota’s Tinderbox Poetry Journal into a new press, Tinderbox Editions. The five sections of this rich collection expand from the garden to saints, divination, and ultimately to the universe. By engaging with the […]