Daily Archives: January 30, 2019


Returning to the “shell”—on Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin

“It wasn’t her fault. She wasn’t the shell I was after.”   So ends Analicia Sotelo’s “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful,” selected by Tracy K. Smith for Best New Poets 2015. Sotelo’s first full-length collection, Virgin, pursues and rediscovers the “shell,” the heart […]


Metaphor & Traumatic Memory in Emilia Phillips’ Empty Clip

Harvard Psychologist Arnold Modell in “Metaphor—The Bridge Between Feelings and Knowledge,” argues that, “When traumatic memories are activated, metaphor recognizes only similarities.” Working from a definition of metaphor as “a pattern detector that recognizes similarities and differences across a nearly infinite variety of domains,” Modell points out that something different […]


You Know You Want to Read This: A Review of Kristen Roupenian’s Debut Story Collection You Know You Want This

Inarguably, Kristen Roupenian is best known for her short story “Cat Person,” which exploded the Internet last year when it went viral after being published in the December 2017 issue of The New Yorker. It trended on Twitter. People wrote think pieces. My undergrads, who have never heard of anyone […]