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DON’T ASK ME TO SPELL IT OUT, by Robert James Russell
Book Reviews / Fiction

DON’T ASK ME TO SPELL IT OUT, by Robert James Russell

Don’t Ask Me to Spell It Out, by Robert James Russell. Louisville, Kentucky: WhiskeyPaper Press, March 2015. 39 pages. $12.00, chapbook. L.P. Hartley wrote, “The past is a foreign country: they do thing differently there.” A portion of the quote reappears as a title midway through Robert James Russell’s collection Don’t Ask Me to Spell It … Continue reading

CHURCH OF MARVELS, by Leslie Parry
Book Reviews / Fiction

CHURCH OF MARVELS, by Leslie Parry

Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry. New York, New York: Ecco, May 2015. 320 pages. $26.99, hardcover. Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels descends into the heartbreaking abyss of loneliness, only to find connections and companionship in the most unlikely of places. Following the intertwined lives of four characters living on the cusp of society, Parry’s … Continue reading

UPRIGHT BEASTS, by Lincoln Michel
Book Reviews / Fiction

UPRIGHT BEASTS, by Lincoln Michel

Upright Beasts, by Lincoln Michel. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Coffee House Press, October 2015. 224 pages. $16.95, paper. Short story collections, especially those containing a multitude of stories, are difficult to gauge. How much constitutes a good or even great collection? Can one or two pieces bring all that good vibe down? Do we feel anything connecting all … Continue reading

CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE, by Ross Gay
Book Reviews / Poetry

CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE, by Ross Gay

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, by Ross Gay. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press, February 2015. 112 pages. $15.95, paper. There may be effusion in Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, but there’s definitely no mawkishness, no syrupy sentimentalism. Ferociously earnest and jubilant, Ross Gay’s third collection is not simply an ode to finding gratitude for the things … Continue reading