Kristina Marie Darling

The Many Terrors of Scott Spanbauer’s The Grill

Scott Spanbauer’s The Grill is a translation of Adolfo Pardo’s La parrilla (1981), an unnerving depiction of state-sponsored terror in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Named after “the grill,” a torture device that uses electricity to force confessions from its victims, the story serves as a counter-narrative […]

Chorus and Cacophony: On the Things We Inherit by Ginger Ko

Ginger Ko’s new collection, Inherit, is, as the name professes, a gathering and rendering of inheritances. The poems comprise an intergenerational compilation of voices speaking to a multitude of experiences, thoughts, curses and blessings handed down over years and through bloodlines. This multiplicity of voices urges the speakers of the […]

Lost and Found in Translation: The Lovers’ Phrasebook, poems by Jordi Alonso & illustrations by Phoebe Carter

A busy antique store is nestled less than two blocks from my house, attracting dozens of elderly visitors every day, especially on Sundays. People seeking antique tools, silver, teapots, remembered artifacts. But I walk over for the postcards. In front of the cash register, four boxes of densely packed postcards, […]

Becoming What I’ve Always Been: A Review of Joy Ladin’s Fireworks in the Graveyard

Joy Ladin’s eighth poetry collection, Fireworks in the Graveyard, is a testimonial of personal transformation. A stunning book tormented by fear and bodily discomfort, yet one also celebrating stalwart perseverance. Ladin’s personal experience with gender transition might be the book’s inspiration, but the work is poised for universal interpretation. The […]

On Amelia Martens’ The Spoons in the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat

Amelia Martens’s debut collection of prose poems, The Spoons in the Grass Are There to Dig a Moat (Sarabande, 2016) is a successful, surprising, and darkly humorous rumination on contemporary public, domestic, and divine life. The unassuming nature of the prose poem’s form, coupled with a childlike philosophy regarding life […]