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Book Reviews by Title - S (137)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Gail Wronsky
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Alicia Partnoy
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0984578207
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 163pp
  • Price $15.50
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
If some of us want, and many of us do, to read translations in English of work written in other languages, it stands to reason that readers of other languages—Spanish, for example—might want to read poems written originally in English. Wronsky has translated Argentine poet Partnoy’s poetry into English. With So Quick Bright Things / Tan Pronto las Cosas, it’s Partnoy’s turn, beginning with a title (thank you Shakespeare) that’s brilliantly and awfully hard to translate. I applaud Partnoy for her smart, vivid translations of work that is exceptionally difficult to render in another language.
  • Subtitle New and Selected Poems: 1968-2012
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Andrei Codrescu
  • Date Published December 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-56689-300-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 352pp
  • Price $22.00
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
Andrei Codrescu is a grown-up punk kid who cherishes the pleasures of life. Reading his poems is to enter into the mind of a brilliant classroom prankster (and at least part-time sex junkie). There’s a lot going on, and he has a lot to say about all of it. Zany, off-the-wall goofiness finds its place alongside serious astute reflection. This New and Selected is all the more cherished for exhibiting the range of the poet’s self-transformation over the course of his lifetime. This remarkable range is significantly reflected by way of the mini-introductions Codrescu offers before each book selection presented here, ranging from bibliographic comments to personal memoir of the particular time and place of the original composition-specific poems. As a result, this volume comes to represent Codrescu’s shot at a tour-de-force performance.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Brian Oliu
  • Date Published 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0983562504
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 56pp
  • Price $7.00
  • Review by Gina Myers
The twenty-two prose pieces collected together in Brian Oliu’s So You Know It’s Me were originally published on the “Missed Connections” section of Tuscaloosa’s Craigslist, and as such they follow the form established there—titled by the location where the missed connection occurred and the tag M4W (man-for-woman). Because Craigslist deletes posts after 45 days, the pieces, which were published every other day, began to disappear just after the final piece went up. The ephemeral nature of the project parallels the ephemeral nature of the moments where connections were missed, where they continue to be missed.
  • Subtitle To Imagine, Witness, and Write
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Melissa Pritchard
  • Date Published May 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934137-96-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Jason Hess
A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write opens with “A Room in London,” a rumination on the physical space Melissa Pritchard occupied while temporarily living and writing in a borrowed London flat. This particularly brief piece (four pages) introduces the collection by touching on topics more thoroughly explored later in the book: Pritchard describes herself at work, presents her belief in writing as a spiritual—often religious—act, and embraces the essay’s ability to successfully grow around an ill-defined plot.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Aditi Machado
  • Date Published October 2017
  • ISBN-13 9-781937 658731
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by DM O'Connor
A thing is a cicada when it tends toward sexual disorientation
& I is an orient in the sense that all things wend toward me.

Aditi Machado’s debut collection, Some Beheadings, is a delicate meditation on the origin of thought. Somewhere between Wittgenstein and Rilke, with splatterings of Gertrude Stein, each page is a flower opening to reflect spring. “A wind blows, the desert unfolds.” “The desert melts, the sky’s glass.” Some Beheadings reads like bits of a shattered rainbow.

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by A.G. Harmon
  • Date Published July 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-1-927409-97-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 228pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

Some Bore Gifts is a fantastical take on the inner workings on the average person’s conscious mind. It is clear A.G. Harmon is precise and specific when it comes to each and every detail that he either includes or omits. The precise attention to detail and the playfulness applied to the everyday character in these stories will enchant and affect each and every person that flips through its pages.

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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Jane Lazarre
  • Date Published December 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0971487390
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 200pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Tony Bonds
Celia, a teacher, writer, and mother in her fifties, undergoes psychoanalysis after nearly being killed by a passing taxi. Finding that she has bottled away years of painful memories, she obsessively engages in her work with Dr. Daniels, to whom she pours out stories and dreams about her mother who committed suicide, her relationship with various members of her extended family, and longing for her grown son who lives across the country.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Adam Tipps Weinstein
  • Date Published March 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934254-60-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $17.00
  • Review by Ryo Yamaguchi
Reading the surrealist essays in Adam Tipps Weinstein’s Some Versions of the Ice, one is quick to make comparisons. The most obvious is to magical realist writers such as Jorge Luis Borges or Italo Calvino, but there are many other resonances. His essay “The False Pigeon: A History”—a fictional account of a natural history museum—reads like it dropped straight from the pages of George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and the deceptively straightforward expositional tone that he employs throughout—which Michael Martone mentions in his wonderful blurb as a “hyper-rational empiricism [running] stoically and joyfully amok”—often echoes Lydia Davis.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Bianca Stone
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-935639-74-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Jolene Brink
The loaded title of Bianca Stone’s debut collection, Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, carries the weight of the marriage-industrial complex on its shoulders. The modern wedding is a complex maze of consumerism, family tradition, and DIY design. But this book isn’t about weddings or bridesmaids. It’s about lovers discovering the space of a long-term relationship, and the poems vibrate when they touch on the tension between self-love and love for another self.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Celia Gilbert
  • Date Published April 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1935402343
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 86pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
In these beautifully crafted poems, Celia Gilbert explores love and loss and what it means to be a daughter and a Jew. There’s hardly a poem here that doesn’t ache with feeling.

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