Tag Archives: Winter 1997

The Stars, The Earth, The River

Le Minh Khue Curbstone Press ($12.95) by Brian Foye Near the end of “A Small Tragedy,” one of fourteen stories in Le Minh Khue's The Stars, the Earth, the River, a young man named Quang runs away from the woman he loves and hurriedly boards the Reunification Express. He is a French citizen of Vietnamese […]

The Word "Desire"

Rikki Ducornet Henry Holt ($22) by Carolyn Kuebler Desire glitters, gemlike, at the center of these tales, flashing its sharp edges and catching the reader's eye with its intense color, allure, and singularity. Desire, these stories seem to say, possesses everyone at least once in their lives, no matter how chaste and ascetic, young or […]


Stacey Levine Sun & Moon Press ($11.95) by Steve Tomasula Being practical has always seemed a monstrous thing, Oscar Wilde once said, and Stacy Levine's new novel does a lot to prove he was right. Here is a world of workers in an industrialscape reminiscent of Eraserhead: it is dreamlike, if you dream in drab; […]

Paul Metcalf Collected Works: Volumes Two and Three

Paul Metcalf Coffee House Press ($35 each) by Ed Torres With the release of volumes two and three, Coffee House Press completes its monumental repackaging of the works of Paul Metcalf. Originally published to little fanfare by the best small presses you've never heard of, these writings—bizarre marriages of prose, poetry, history, and found texts—force […]


Frank Lima Hard Press ($12.95) by John Serrano Frank Lima first published in 1962, and though he dropped out of the poetry scene he never stopped writing, as evidenced by this recent volume of selected poems. Skip the disastrous "New Poem" that opens the book, as it reads like a prose memoir chopped into lines […]

On A Stair

Ann Lauterbach Penguin ($14.95) by S. P. Healey I found a joke in an obscure encyclopedia of poetics: A man walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder and says to the bartender, “What's the difference between good and bad experimental poetry?” The bartender looks at the parrot and says: “I'm sorry, we […]

Shroud Of The Gnome

James Tate Ecco Press ($23) by Kelly Everding Caution: Shroud of the Gnome may induce temporary aphasia brought on by profound cognitive dissonance. James Tate wrestles with reality, combining the bizarre and the sublime, the ridiculous and the wistful, hesitant despair and bone-crushing absurdity. The unsettling situations which arise achieve a level of profundity beyond […]

Letter To An Imaginary Friend

Thomas McGrath Copper Canyon Press ($20 paperback, $35 cloth) by Josie Rawson It's been nearly a half century since the long, single file of actors, writers, artists, and other usual suspects—poet Thomas McGrath among them—answered the call to testify before the McCarthy House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. What happened during those inquisitions is old record: […]


Perspectives On Ergodic Literature Espen J. Aarseth Johns Hopkins University Press ($14.95) by Rudi Dornemann In this book, Espen J. Aarseth has created a key text for future critical and creative work in the field of electronic writing. It's a particularly brave undertaking, since there are so many different kinds of electronic texts, most continually […]

Cultures Of Habitat

On Nature, Culture, And Story Gary Paul Nabhan Counterpoint ($25) by Michael Wiegers Roger Risley has lived on the Olympic Peninsula for well over two decades, having come here from Buffalo to avoid school and slip under the radar of the Vietnam draft. Instead of in a classroom, he has worked in the rain and […]