In this issue, new poetry by Rebecca Brock—winner of the Spring 2021 Poetry Contest—Vee Amey, Cynthia Anderson, Kate Bowers, Marion Starling Boyer, Frances Boyle, Simona Carini, Alan Catlin, Ana Cottle, Joe Cottonwood, Robert DeMott, Michael Estabrook, Geroge Franklin, Matthew Friday, Joshua Gage, John Grey, Atar Hadari, Susan Harvey, and more. See a further list of contributors at the Mag Stand.
This month’s featured selection includes an interview with Ann Arbor by Leeya Mehta with a selection of work by the poet. DeWitt Henry reviews Petition by Joyce Peseroff. In nonfiction: “Overdetermination (It’s Not as Boring As It Sounds)” by David Kirby. See poetry contributors at the Mag Stand.
In addition to the 2020 Short Nonfiction Contest winners, Miriam Grossman, Mary O. Parker, and Stella Li, the Mar/Apr Kenyon Review includes “Nature’s Nature,” our seventh annual special poetry section centered on “nature, the environment, and ecological witness,” as Poetry Editor David Baker describes it in his introduction. See what else you can find in this issue at the Mag Stand.
The Winter 2020 issue of the Missouri Review includes a selection of blackout poetry by Jennifer Sperry Steinorth. These poems move beyond the traditional blackout poem, though, and move into a realm beyond, each poem a well-crafted work of art. The variety in style is inspiring as she demonstrates the creative ways one can manipulate text. The art speaks as much as the selected words do. Each turn of the page reveals something inventive and exciting, a treasured find in this issue.
“Disbelieving These Deaths, I Go to Sit by Lake Huron” by David Groff
“Wonders of the World” by Todd Copeland
“Field Notes: To Excavate Beyond Despair” by Erica Sofer Bodwell
“You can have it all” by Kelsey Taylor
“In the Exhaust of an Outboard Motor, I Talk to Myself and to Grandpa” by Cody Smith
“Dear Crossed, Did You Know That You’re Not Your Body?” by Gabriel Dozal
Find a copy of this issue at SRPR‘s website.
Guest Post by M. A. Dubbs.
As I’ve turned more to e-books and my Kindle through this COVID-19 winter, I have fallen in love with some beautiful indie poetry. 207th Bone is one of these books and showcases translated prose from China. Written by Zhou Li, a Chinese doctor and caretaker of one hundred tortoises, it explores themes of slice of life China, sensuality, depression, and the stress of practicing medicine.
The book starts with an introduction from Xi Nan who discusses the difficult translation process from Chinese to English. Next is an interview from Li as he explores his worldview of nihilism and how this has influenced his writing. The poems are untitled and separated by time periods of Li’s life. The tone shifts from bleak and visceral (“Go down the throat / Into my stomach / Don’t know which season is growing / In my body”) to political (“’China Dream’ is written / Under the billboard / A beggar is sleeping on the ground / I dare not toss a coin to him / I’m afraid the sound / would interrupt / His dream”).
207th Bone is a great read for anyone looking for modern Chinese poetry which is largely underrepresented in current literature.
207th Bone by Zhou Li. Simi Press, August 2020.
Reviewer bio: M. A. Dubbs is an award winning LBTQ Mexican-American poet from Indiana.
Buy this book from our affiliate Bookshop.org.
The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak debut poetry collection by Grace Lau, is an intensive attempt in discovering concealed elements of immigrant inheritances, queer yearnings, and multi-generational mysteries.
These poems valiantly exhibit the lonely corners and abandoned experiences of great pain. Readers explore the visible and invisible identities of immigrant life in poems like “Ginseng, winter melon, lotus root,” “My grandmother’s wallpaper,” “My grief is winter,” “Family Vacation,” “Going Home.”
Influences of church, technology, western culture, and ancestral customs among second-generation lives are revealed artfully in her poetry. A granddaughter wonders about her grandmother’s age as she believes the latter stole a few years to work early to feed her family in “The Lies That Bend.” “She said loneliness is better; than sin” summarizes how the Asian parents feel about unconventional/queer lives.
The emotional intensity of Lau’s work is shown in these compelling lines:
“She swung a sword as a man,
Wept as woman
Sang as both”
“How do you find yourself
When you don’t know your motherland”
“He has been mourning
For the last twenty years”
“Loss that lives in a new-silence snow.”
I loved reading this very remarkable poetry collection.
The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak by Grace Lau. Guernica Editions, May 2021.
Reviewer bio: Padmaja Reddy, originally from India, lives in Connecticut. She received an MA in English Literature from SK University. Former journalist and she published poetry and book reviews in various publications like Yale Review of Books, NewPages.
Buy this book from our affiliate Bookshop.org.
The Winter 2020 Issue of SRPR is now available. You will find: cover art by Jessi Simpson; The SRPR Illinois Poet Feature with new poetry by Carlo Matos and Amy Sayre Batista, with an interview of the poets by Simone Muench and Jackie K. White; The Editors’ Prize winning poem by David Groff, as well as runners-up poems by Todd Copeland and Erica Bodwell, honorable mention poems by Kelsey Taylor, Cody Smith, and Gabriel Dozal. Find out what else you can find in this issue at the Mag Stand.
New poetry by Heather Lang-Cassera, Wale Ayinla, Suphil Lee Park, Anne Champion, and others; fiction by Joseph Bathanti, Natanya Ann Pulley, and Grant William Currier; and essays by Tariq Al Haydar, Karen Salyer McElmurray, and more. Plus Patrick Hicks reviews Angel Bones by Ilyse Kusnetz. See more contributors at the Mag Stand.
Mudfish 22 is now at the Mag Stand and is bursting with poems, prose and art, that are revelations, that grab you by the lapels, that defy forgetting. They are before and after visions and celebrations of our world today. Guest art editor John Yau has filled the pages with work from young New York-based artists that is immediate and sparkling.
Inside the latest issue of Missouri Review now at the Mag Stand: first fiction from Isabelle Shifrin. Featuring poetry by John Gallaher, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, and Teresa Ott, fiction by Drew Calvert, Yxta Maya Murray, Mehr-Afarin Kohan, and Sam Dunnington, essays from Molly Wright Steenson and Phillip Hurst, and more, including a Curio Cabinet piece on Hans Christian Andersen.