November 27, 2014

‘Autogeography’ by Reginald Harris

Posted on December 22, 2013 by in Poetry, Reviews

The title of Reginald Harris’ deeply felt debut collection of poems, Autogeography (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize), is happily deceptive, a play on autoerotica (or autoerogoneous). Like a map, the title opens itself to neighboring zones and states of being. Title and collection are viscerally complemented by deeply marine-blue cover artwork, a boy wading in the ocean and staring to that always ambiguous border between earth and voyage, that launch pad to imagination, the horizon. (more…)

‘Happiness, Like Water’ by Chinelo Okparanta

Posted on October 19, 2013 by in Fiction, Reviews

It is the opposition of expectations, more than opposition of cultures, which affects the characters in Happiness,  Like Water, a debut collection of ten stories by Nigerian author Chinelo Okparanta. Okparanta, a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, was one of Granta’s six new voices of 2012. (more…)

‘Postage Due’ by Julie Marie Wade

Posted on June 13, 2013 by in Poetry, Reviews

A collection of straight-ahead poems is a good thing, but equally good and also refreshing is a poetry collection diverse as a sound financial portfolio, with poems, prose, prose poems, epistles, and postcards revealing versatility and offering preventative action against dread humdrum. (more…)

‘Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies’ by Elizabeth J. Colen

Posted on April 9, 2013 by in Poetry, Reviews

Elizabeth Colen’s ambitious Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies (Jaded Ibis Press) offers a cohesion of themes: cataclysm, catastrophe, and possibly worse, and the legal definition of conspiracy, a decision by two or more people to commit a crime. (more…)

‘Queer Cinema: Schoolgirls, Vampires and Gay Cowboys’ by Barbara Mennel

Posted on January 16, 2013 by in Nonfiction

Oh, “murderous gays” and “self-hating lesbians”! You distraught and twisted queers were once our sole image in film. Then things changed, changed again, and now, well. . .. Definitely there’s a history here. Barbara Mennel’s Queer Cinema: Schoolgirls, Vampires and Gay Cowboys (Wallflower Press) provides that history of us onscreen, beginning in the early 1900s. Part of Wallflower Press’ Short Cuts: Introduction to Film Studies series, Queer Cinema situates the LGBT presence in movies and some TV within its social and historical milieu. Unsurprising and necessary are the many parallels author Barbara Mennel, an associate professor of film studies and German studies at the University of Florida, draws between the culture’s comfort level with queers and how we’re portrayed. The writing is workmanlike, clear, and detailed. I am not a film scholar, surprise surprise, and though I probably shouldn’t admit it, I am an IMDB.com fanatic. And, proudly, an L.A. girl at heart. I’m interested. So. (more…)

‘Allen Ginsberg’ by Steve Finbow

Posted on January 2, 2013 by in Bio/Memoir, Reviews

I have heard rumors, lately, of a poet once of the City of New York named Ahron Grinsberg, no wait, that’s my building manager, let’s see, yes, here: Allen Ginsberg. He seemed to have had a faint few followers when he resided in the formerly seedy East Village.

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‘Buddha in My Belly’ by Brittany K. Fonte

Posted on October 29, 2012 by in Poetry, Reviews

If Roseanne Barr wrote prose poems, they wouldn’t be so very different from those in Buddha in My Belly, Brittany K. Fonte’s debut collection (Hopewell Publications, 2012).  Like Barr’s routines, these pieces are sardonic, honest—and about women. Sometimes it’s hard to be one. Okay, that was Tammy. Anyway.

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‘Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry’ edited by Bryan Borland

Posted on August 22, 2012 by in Poetry, Reviews

A dozen long-stemmed red roses? Ho hum. How 50s heterosexual can you get?  It’s not that I’m disenchanted with roses, their heady fragrance and dizzying blend of fragility and toughness. It’s just, well, I love me some variety. (more…)

‘My Sister Chaos’ by Lara Fergus

Posted on June 17, 2012 by in Fiction, Reviews

The world of My Sister Chaos (Triangle Publishing’s  Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction winner and a finalist for this year’s Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Debut Fiction) is disconcerting.  Always near the surface of this quiet and speculative methodical tale is the fact that we are in a time of crisis. (more…)