“Get Ready for the Secret of Your Life”: Hawk Parable by Tyler Mills

I think of Jesus, the circuitous way he wove images together to explain to his disciples things they hadn’t seen, but he had.  It’s like this, and then also: it’s like that.  I imagine the disciples nodding, their desire to understand so ingenuous, so severe, that they almost convince themselves […]

A Primer for Beauty and its Many Foils: Lia Purpura’s First Adventures in Beauty

“Once, a friend reacting to a tickle on her arm, saw she had smacked a lacewing—green filigreed and sheer as a breath. ‘You’re so beautiful, I’m sorry,’ she said, before finishing it off. As if its beauty might have saved it.” So begins Lia Purpura’s First Adventures in Beauty, published […]

Music Within Uncompromising Landscapes: A Review of Jennifer Militello’s Knock Wood

It is tempting to believe that where lives have gone wrong, it is possible to find an early, inciting incident, which, if only the holder of memory can get to, articulate, and integrate, meaning and therefore optimism can be restored, and the good world can regain its center. Jennifer Militello’s […]

What Do Atypicals Dream?: A Review of NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified)

  Joseph Harrington is the author of Of Some Sky (BlazeVOX Books 2018); Goodnight Whoever’s Listening (Essay Press 2015);  Things Come On (an amneoir) (Wesleyan UP 2011); and the critical work Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan UP 2002). Harrington blogs about creative writing and climate change at Writing Out of Time. He teaches at the University of Kansas (Lawrence).

On, Of, In the Heartland: A Review of The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland by Julia Madsen

In Julia Madsen’s debut collection, The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland, she presents scenes of a heartland town in precarity: the local economy, dependent on a meat packaging plant, has lost that anchor: “When the factory shut down, / everybody knew. Without saying. It was […]