reviews

Colony Collapse Metaphor by Philip Jenks

When intensely felt historical experience intersects with language under extreme pressure, you might wind up with something like the poetry of Philip Jenks, which to my mind represents a kind of Appalachian écriture, the inscription of political, social, economic, and sexual difference onto and inside of the lyric.—JOSHUA COREY

http://www.joshua-corey.com/blog/2014/12/12/colony-collapse-metaphor-philip-jenks


The Meatgirl Whatever by Kristin Hatch

The Meatgirl Whatever shatters and shakes on the page.  These poems are wild animals and we are the startled readers, awakened into a world of subverted fairy tales and sinister satire.—HEATHER SWEENEY

http://galatearesurrection23.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-meatgirl-whatever-by-kristin-hatch.html


my god is this a man by Laura Sims

What is not written is just as critical as what is on the page in Laura Sims’s My god is this a man. This book is a mash-up, containing the poet’s voice but also intruding voices, some of which we can tell (as when she quotes various murderers, or the more obvious black text boxes that contain language from the surviving Boston Bomber juxtaposed with a relaxation tape) and some of which we can only surmise.—MOLLY SUTTON KIEFER

http://www.raintaxi.com/my-god-is-this-a-man/


my god is this a man by Laura Sims

Sims’s poems go to a dark place in their attempts to speak about the unspeakable. A perceptive philosophical meditation on guilt and ethical responsibility, My god is this a man offers us more than its fair share of dolesome propositions. Rather than defer to a set of over-determined details and media-driven sensationalisms, these poems give, in their withholding; and they do so with astonishing grace.—LARA MIMOSA MONTES

https://tarpaulinsky.com/2014/11/laura-sims-2/


my god is this a man by Laura Sims

http://www.jamesbelflower.com/blog/2014/9/1/250-words-on-laura-sims-my-god-is-this-a-man


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

McGlue is rooted in a nineteenth-century world of written texts, and through that, literature's interiority. McGlue receives the world through almanacs and newspapers, and making lists of objects and the people to associate them with. As a sailor, he's made rounds of the globe, and Moshfegh's world seems that much more deeply imagined and thought through, her characters understandable as individuals rather than vague concepts.—BRIAN NICHOLSON

http://www.bookslut.com/fiction/2014_11_021025.php


Mercury by Ariana Reines

Mercury is a book untamed, untamable, compulsively readable and often repellant, and to finish it is to find yourself staring back into your eyes, the book just a mirror in your hands.—DAN BEACHY-QUICK

http://www.bucknell.edu/x79980.xml


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

Moshfegh’s novel calls to mind the blackness, torment, and self-infliction of Poe and Robert W. Chambers, and the sensory detail, guttural prose, raw wit, and sincerity of Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned.” McGlue has the urgency of short fiction married with the grandiosity of an epic at-sea classic.—ZACHARY TYLER VICKERS

http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/tidings#


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

If one can study misery, Ottessa Moshfegh offers a master class with her debut. Whether or not doom is chosen, the narrative proves there is, in fact, "something like grace" in watching it unfold.—LINNIE GREENE

http://www.shelf-awareness.com/readers-issue.html?issue=347#m6128


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

McGlue is about a brash yet eloquent drunkard (that’s McGlue), and it’s set in the 19th century, and has a definite olden-times, sea-faring vibe. This is strange because the rest of Mosfegh’s stuff is pretty modern, but she dives into the voice of McGlue with such commitment and verve that I stopped worrying and learned to love it.—JACOB KAPLAN

http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/bookish/that-new-new-in-lit-october


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

If there’s anything scarier than killing someone you love, it’s not knowing if you did.—TIFFANY GIBERT

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/books/8-scary-stories-for-the-halloween-season


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

To read McGlue is to be aware of how unmistakably different it is. The term “voice” has too much essentialist baggage — it lowballs the composition involved with sentence-making on Moshfegh’s level. But there’s no other available shorthand for what makes McGlue — literary cul-de-sac, perhaps — a thing of beauty. From where I sit, I still want to be passed a killer note like this one, a doodle of a ship on choppy seas, writing that is what it is with strange aplomb.—M.C. MAH

http://www.full-stop.net/2014/11/03/reviews/m-c-mah/mcglue-ottessa-moshfegh/


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

In McGlue, Moshfegh’s facility with voice (here she’s inhabiting that of a 19th century scoundrel) competes with her ability to expose the gritty, mucky corners of the human condition. “Nothing doing but dark hearts,” McGlue contemplates, showing the reader the omnipresence of so many eternal midnights.—JOANNA NOVAK

http://www.bustle.com/articles/46082-ottessa-moshfegh-is-the-next-big-thing-and-here-are-7-reasons-why


McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh

Propelled by a masterful combination of lyrical prose, mystery, and plot, McGlue is a highly impressive novel about the oppressed self. Ottessa Moshfegh commands fiction with natural grace and is a modern voice to be reckoned with.—ALEXANDER HELMINTOLLER

http://www.zyzzyva.org/2014/10/05/mcglue-by-ottessa-moshfegh/


Philip Jenks by catalog

http://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/eng_facpub/1/


Mellow Actions by Brandon Downing

With all the sanguine gusto of a super-parasympathetic nervous system that knows neither fight nor flight, Mellow Actions makes for a real wide-open-type palette of dreams.—PAUL EBENKAMP

http://jacket2.org/reviews/cutting-through-its-own-knife


Undergloom by Prageeta Sharma

What happens to the woman of color body as it endures the banal repression of the academy? And if it aches to be itself without pressure to conform and meet assumed burdens to produce, publish, and exhaust itself to ‘fit’ while concurrently losing itself? Undergloom by Prageeta Sharma explores the thingification of the woman scholar and the way her mind must adapt to a tepid environment.—JANICE SAPIGAO

http://jacket2.org/reviews/navigating-ineffable


Inter Arma by Lauren Shufran

Here burns an homological alchemy of desire, hate, fear, and murderous aggression that reveals the complex intersections of homophobic, genocidal, and carnivorous urges: Shufran’s an anti-Aesop of geese on hunger strike, of a Private macho to get fucked in barracks in his Gaga-drag, of sheep fallen so far past pastoral they’re water-boarded in a wishing well, knitting Afghans of their own wool.—JUDITH GOLDMAN

http://www.drunkenboat.com/?p=3850


House of Deer by Sasha Steensen

What kind of poem is the kind of poem where everything— including the clothing of children & the doing of dishes— belongs? I think House of Deer is exactly the kind of capacious poem where this everything belongs.—PATTIE MCCARTHY

http://jacket2.org/commentary/sasha-steensens-house-deer-other-domestic-histories


House of Deer by Sasha Steensen

House of Deer is a command of a book—you must experience this—a book that hums with deliberate strangeness, an afternoon heavy with humidity and the unrelenting buzz of insects.—MOLLY SUTTON KIEFER

http://therumpus.net/2014/07/house-of-deer-by-sasha-steensen/


House of Deer by Sasha Steensen

Steensen’s lyrical poetry is full of fantastical imagery that will allow her readers to look at the ‘70s and the concept of a “family unit” through a different lens and gain new insight into why some families become dysfunctional.—AMANDA FERRIS

http://theabsolutemag.com/15542/books/travel-back-in-time-to-the-1970s-with-sasha-steensens-house-of-deer/


Collapsible Poetics Theater by Rodrigo Toscano

The conflation of artistic genres within conceptual Latino/a poetry is most dynamically presented in Collapsible Poetics Theater (2008), where the text doubles as poetry and stage directions, emphasizing subversive ideas such as “social-psychological crisis,” the “trans-modern,” and the drive to “recombine” paradigms of thought along a proletarian historical continuum.—DAVID A. COLON

http://jacket2.org/article/avant-latino-poetry


The Meatgirl Whatever by Kristin Hatch

What Hatch does with language is rough, and I believe her. Or it’s that feelings are rough and she turns them into words we want to hear. Buried in linguistic shortcuts, the smallness and loss that comes with taking away the words that don’t matter or do and leaving in or making the only ones that will help a reader feel and feel more, we get a sense of this book’s through-line. There’s something traumatic, in the end, about this collection.—COLETTE LABOUFF

http://therumpus.net/2014/06/the-meatgirl-whatever-by-kristin-hatch/


House of Deer by Sasha Steensen

By turns aphoristic and impenetrable, Sasha Steensen has an ear for the strange. She can be playful like Hopkins, whom she styles herself after in a poem called “Fragments” and whose name she takes for the family’s street. Neat as Russian nesting dolls, these poems have a cumulative power.—LAURA CRESTE

http://www.full-stop.net/2014/06/18/reviews/laura-creste/house-of-deer-sasha-steensen/


Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast by Hannah Gamble

Hannah Gamble’s collection is a refreshingly honest depiction of insecurity and loneliness. Perhaps a bit obsessively, I’ve read Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast three times since December, and in my ever-so-modest opinion, I’d say it gets even better with age.—DANA JOHNSON

http://gentwenty.com/book-review-invitation-modest-breakfast-hannah-gamble/


House of Deer by Sasha Steensen

Steensen’s book dedication reads, “For my families." One section, “The Girl and the Deer,” tells a contemporary fable about an abandoned child raised by deer. The concept of having family outside of blood and why that matters speaks to a bigger idea of how exclusive (or inclusive) family can be. Family is House of Deer’s central focus because of its natural ability to answer questions of belonging, both to a place and to a group of people.—NATHAN KEMP

http://www.americanmicroreviews.com/#!house-of-deer-by-sasha-steensen/cvlb


88 Sonnets by Clark Coolidge

Through the music of their phrasing, Coolidge’s sonnets push us to feel the intense but fleeting pleasures in those ephemeral utterances that, while apprehended, cannot always be fully understood. Like the alienated majesty of chitchat overheard from passersby coming back to you as your own best thoughts.—TIM WOOD

http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/reviews/88-sonnets/


Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast by Hannah Gamble

The secret to Hannah Gamble’s charm lies in her uncanny ability to hold reality and a quiet, seemingly commonplace sadness squarely in her binocular-like vision. Her poems of quirky self-admonishment and effective disengagement are delivered in a style whose dizzying effects you are not likely to forget.—MARK ELEVELD

http://www.raintaxi.com/your-invitation-to-a-modest-breakfast/


Inter Arma by Lauren Shufran

I chose Inter Arma, a book of poems mostly in forms, to win the first ever Ottoline Prize from Fence Books because it is clever and dirty and political graffiti—on the subjects of homosexuality; the military; homosexuality in the military; and ducks.—REBECCA WOLFF

http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/crossroads/new_american_poets/lauren_shufran/


Inter Arma by Lauren Shufran

The collection of poems swells with stars, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and Roman poet boy Ovid. There are also a lot of animals, which is admirable, as it sort of gives Lauren’s poems Disney-like parts. Chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, and gooses receive roles.—SETH OELBAUM

http://htmlgiant.com/author-spotlight/a-close-reading-of-a-poem-by-a-girl/