PRE- by Barbara Tomash reviewed by Dina Paulson-McEwen

PRE- by Barbara Tomash / Black Radish Books / paperback / 74 pages / ISBN 978-0-9979524-6-9 / 2018 PRE-, the fourth poetry collection from California-based poet Barbara Tomash, will delight (lay) lexicographers and otherwise language lovers, dissectors, obsesionados. Her interest is prefixes; how “beginning” functions as an introduction to meaning from a word’s initial letters.

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Book Review: Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character

Kay Redfield Jamison. Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character. (New York: Knopf, 2017) 560 pages with extensive clinical footnotes, primary source documents, and passages from Lowell’s oeuvre. In a certain way, Robert Lowell (1917-1977), widely acclaimed in his lifetime as the curator of his mania and thus

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Eileen R. Tabios’ Manhattan: An Archaeology reviewed by Neil Leadbeater

Manhattan: An Archaeology by Eileen R. Tabios / Paloma Press / ISBN: 978-1-365-87509-0 / 2017 Manhattan, probably from the Lenape language word Mannahatta, meaning “island of many hills,” is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and its historical birthplace. Locally it is often referred to simply as

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Translating the Counterculture: The Reception of the Beats in Turkey by Erik Mortenson, reviewed by Marc Olmsted

TRANSLATING THE COUNTERCULTURE The Reception of the Beats in Turkey by Erik Mortenson / Southern Illinois University Press / 978-0809336548 / 2018 The premise is a fascinating one. Erik Mortenson actually was IN Turkey during its attempted coup in 2016 and had to leave with his family. He taught at the Koç University in Istanbul,

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Echo Bay: Poems by Jennifer Battisti, reviewed by Emily Hoover

Echo Bay: Poems by Jennifer Battisti / Tolsun Books / 9781948800013 / 2018 / paperback; 42 pp. Jennifer Battisti’s chapbook of poems, Echo Bay, has its roots in the sand and rock of Las Vegas. Battisti studied creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada, currently works with the Las Vegas Poets Organization, and has

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Experiments in the Function of Language: Reading Laura Riding’s Experts Are Puzzled

Experts Are Puzzled by Laura Riding / Ugly Duckling Presse / 978-1937027865 / May 1, 2018 / 144 pages Laura Riding’s Experts Are Puzzled is a difficult book to classify. At times it looks like a collection of short stories or parables, at other times it looks like a series of philosophical observations. Regardless of

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Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900-1933

Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900-1933 by Robin Schuldenfrei / Princeton University Press / 2018 / 978-0691175126 / 338 pages with 74 color and 126 black and white illustrations. In this study showcasing the paradoxes — hypocrisies even — of some of German Modernism’s most illustrious utopian architects and object-makers, Robin

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The Buddhist Beat Poetics of Diane di Prima and Lenore Kandel by Max Orsini, reviewed by Marc Olmsted

The Buddhist Beat Poetics of Diane di Prima and Lenore Kandel by Max Orsini / Beatdom Books / 224 pages / July 2018 / 978-0993409950 Within the all-pervasive expanse of the sky of great emptiness, without center or circumference, The shadowless sun of luminosity naturally arises, without emanating or dissolving, Thus the dense darkness of

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The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing by Charles Bukowski

The Mathematics of the Breath and the Way: On Writers and Writing by Charles Bukowski. Edited by David Stephen Calonne / City Lights Books / 978-0-87286-759-8 / 2018 I kind of don’t know how they keep coming, but Charles Bukowski was such a prolific writer, and perhaps so disorganized, that posthumous collections of both prose

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Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, reviewed by Beth Spencer

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer / Random House / 320 pages / 9780812995701 / Jan 29, 2019 Stop the presses! Stop submitting to them, that is, until you’ve taken a look at Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, which comes out at the

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Allen Ginsberg’s Iron Curtain Journals, reviewed by Marc Olmsted

Iron Curtain Journals (January-May 1965) by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Michael Schumacher / University of Minnesota Press / Iron Curtain Journals covers a particularly interesting slice of time in Allen Ginsberg’s writing, Jan.-May 1965, anticipated by 1961’s “Prose Contribution to the Cuban Revolution,” and bracketing the creation of the major poems “Kral Majales” and “Who

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