Blog Archives

Book Review: AN ACCIDENT OF STARS by Foz Meadows

By | Book Review, Prose

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows Angry Robot Books, 2016 $7.99 An Accident of Stars is the kind of fantasy novel that’s been a long time coming. As more and more articles pour out about bias in science fiction and fantasy, citing lack of diversity—both in the gender and race of the author and …

For Future Reference: Notes on a Writer’s Desk

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics, Prose

Like a lot of people these days, my students have a stated conviction that the internet is better than print materials for research. It’s easy to think so. If you know what you’re looking for it may even be true. Need to know what a grackle eats? You can find out. Want to know the …

Book Review: BRAWL & JAG by April Bernard

By | Book Review, Prose

Brawl & Jag by April Bernard W.W. Norton, 2016 $17.95 Reading April Bernard’s fourth book of poetry, Brawl & Jag, is like staring down the barrel of a gun. She writes about loss, despair, and anger with sharp-tongued wit and humor. Bernard’s language is not soft—her words bristle, pages upturned by grief. When it comes to relationships, …

Skill Set: Notes on Tom Lux, Poetry, and Teaching

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics

In the two months or so since Tom Lux died, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to have been his student, which in turn has led me to thinking about what it means to be a teacher of poetry. Much, of course, has been written on this topic, and much …

Book Review: A BLISTER OF STARS by Jason Irwin

By | Book Review, Prose

A Blister of Stars by Jason Irwin Low Ghost Press, 2016 $8.00   Winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award for Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008) and author of the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014) and Some Days It’s a Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005), Jason Irwin’s most recent collection, A Blister of …

Book Review: THE CANOPY by Patricia Clark

By | Book Review, Prose

The Canopy by Patricia Clark Terrapin Books, 2017 $16.00  I often found myself without breath while reading Patricia Clark’s new collection of poetry, The Canopy. The poems quietly knocked the wind out of me. The collection dwells in loss and the ways death can take things from us, both slowly and all at once. It characterizes the …

The Eternal Return of the Same

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics, Prose

Sometime in the late nineties a writer friend of mine said that if you ever wanted to write a Charles Simic poem all you needed was the moon, an alley, a young child, a woman in a babushka, and perhaps a chicken. I thought of this recently after finishing up a first draft of a …

Book Review: RUST BELT BOY by Paul Hertneky

By | Book Review, Prose

Rust Belt Boy:  Stories of An American Childhood by Paul Hertneky Bauhan Publishing, 2016 $21.95 Paul Hertneky exemplifies Western Pennsylvanian familiarity in his new essay collection, Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood. Hailing from a place known for its bullshitting, a gift explored in the essay, “Humility and Its Opposite,” Hertneky masters the craft …