Not Here, by Hieu Minh Nguyen

Not Here, by Hieu Minh Nguyen


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Hieu Minh Nguyen’s second collection, Not Here, is a remarkable work of emotional generosity and alchemic poetic power, not only delving into trauma, isolation, and pain, but also demonstrating how such experiences may be transformed. The book holds more than...
Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo


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Reviewer’s note: this review was originally written for The East Bay Review April 16, 2018. In his A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize–winning debut, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo conjures a lush, breathing landscape that permeates and encompasses the self, contrasting the...
Each Gutsy Redecorated Cell: Wren Hanks’s The Rise of Genderqueer

Each Gutsy Redecorated Cell: Wren Hanks’s The Rise of Genderqueer


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 Marginalized people are tasked with living in a society that wants them dead; and genderqueer/trans folks in particular have shockingly high rates of suicide and suicidal ideation. WrenHanks’s response to this reality is as radical as it is effective—pillaging...
Book review Review: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee

Book review Review: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee


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[Reviewer’s note: this review was originally written for The East Bay Review, whose editors gave me permission to repost it in its entirety here. Find the original review here.] To read Alexander Chee’s 2001 semi autobiographical novel Edinburgh is to experience the...
Mann’s Contrarian Propriety

Mann’s Contrarian Propriety


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As a poet, it’s hard to read Randall Mann’s Propriety without feeling a little anger at the author. I say this not because it’s a poor book of poems, but because it’s astonishingly good. So good, in fact, it’s my sad duty to somehow...