- An interview with Sonya on My Heart in Aspic over on Speaking of Marvels. Things mentioned include bilingual poeting (writing), language, cauldrons, beakers, “folk medicine” vs “actual medicine,” a grandparents’ kitchen, bearings, and teeth. Always teeth.
If you ever look up how to brew kombucha at home, you’ll find instructions so obsessed with cleanliness that it borders on the absurd. Clean everything with bleach! You’re going to die! And so on. Meanwhile, my grandparents made kombucha in their tiny USSR apartments where I guarantee you there was an insufficiently sterile environment and, well, people have been making kombucha in Russia and China for ages before that as well. There’s a lot of scholarly work being done that indicates much of our “folk medicine” vs “actual medicine” beliefs originate in the willful exclusion of women from science. And both love and grief are feminine-coded emotions. At its root, My Heart in Aspic is really about me getting my bearings after a sexual assault, and that period of my life felt very feminine, in a weird way. I’m non-binary, and that was the single time when I briefly truly felt like a woman.
- You can find some of their new work in issue #12 of Fuck Art, Let’s Dance! (Nostrovia Press, May 2016). And, you know what? You can listen to it too. An excerpt from “Mourning Hair, Don’t Care:”
… it’ll be better this time or at least
it’ll be different and we’re somewhat
optimistic because who isn’t when
the wind goes warm and one’s chest
opens up and anticipation runs
impulse control off the road…
- Sonya’s latest essay (this one on sleep paralysis) over at Dirge Magazine. It’s called “Riding with the Witch: Anxiety and Archetypes in Sleep Paralysis.”
What’s pink & shiny / what’s dark & hard (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sarah B. Boyle // @pyrrhicspondee
- An interview with Sarah on What’s pink & shiny / what’s dark & hard at Speaking of Marvels. Things mentioned: secrets, art, accomplice vs ally, abortion, lacunae, persistence, and the importance of good teachers.
As to when I finally wrote about the abortion–god I’m so slow. I’m consistently writing about things that happened about 5 years prior. (Aside from these heartbreaking little prose poems I’ve been writing about teaching, which seem to pour out of me unfiltered and within hours of the events that prompt them.) I suspect I need the distance to turn things into art–into an object outside myself that I can manipulate. // more at Speaking of Marvels
- A review of L.B. Williams’ The Eighth Phrase at Quill & Parchment. (Reviewer: Ed Bennett.) This is a native New Yorker’s thorough response to these poems.
…this is a small book but it is dense with the poetry of one coming of age against the polyglot sounds of a great city. Do not let the size of the book deceive you. The imagery is almost narcotic and the phrasing speaks directly to the soul. L.B. Williams has fashioned a fantastic book of poems from her memories as well as her fine poetic technique. // more at Quill & Parchment
Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen // @chenchenwrites
- If you’re into it, you can read some new poems in The Adroit Journal!
- We just read Chen Chen’s Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016) and it’s pretty awesome. $12 incl. shipping from one of our fav. small presses.
- His micro chapbook was just released! Fresh off the press, all these poems: DRY SPELL.
- Though it’s not due out until next month, Sara’s micro chapbook received this awesome blurb review:
Sara Adams’ Poems for Ivan is a modern version of Persephone’s tale. When she leads you down the “black, barbed-wired path” of Ukraine past gangs of wild dogs or into the underground monastery, you can’t turn away. You will want to linger with Ivan in the dark magic of this book.
— Janeen Pergrin Rastall, author of In the Yellowed House, Objects May Appear Closer and co-author of Heart Radicals.