Now Read This: July 2022 

Highlighting recently released and forthcoming works by marginalized creators

Iguana Iguana by Caylin Capra-Thomas: Alive to the beauty and anxiety of new worlds and people, Iguana Iguana imagines a tough and tender soundtrack for tumbleweeds in search of roots. Recursive, deliberate, and as adaptive as their titular lizard, these poems invite us to listen so as to better hear “…the sweet shriek / of those far-off trains you suspect are coming / to claim you. To lay open the hills you haven’t seen.” Caylin Capra-Thomas writes towards understanding the strangers we meet and knowing the stranger within. In doing so, she maps a blueprint for “lay[ing] into the world / like it’s good enough.”

Light Spun by Kwame Sound Daniels: Light Spun carries the reader on the poet’s journey toward xirself. At once a meditation on love⁠—outward and inward⁠—this book is a collection of poems over a three year period, wherein the poet details xir experiences with love, mental health, and Black American spirituality. 

clawing at the grounded moon by Darren Demaree: Part science fiction, part natural catastrophe narrative, part Midwestern Gothic fairytale, clawing at the grounded moon is a narrative sequence of prose poems that explores a world in which the moon has crashed into the Midwest, and the people left behind must grapple with the meaning of a heavenly body that has come to rest squarely on the bodies of everything they had believed before the event. The new landscape that develops both on and around the moon becomes more and more manic, as the survivors construct new identities that embrace or question the enhanced desperation and grief of their world. The poems included move with music and energy and repetition toward the “red-centered” reality where metaphor has lost meaning, and the people must decide anew what beauty and faith are and will be moving forward. Instead of the history they so relied on in the past, the nameless people can only trust “a beginning a beginning a beginning,” and without any certainty of what can or will happen next, they are left wondering “what sharp names” are needed “to invent a new world.”

This Has Always Been a War: The Radicalization of a Working Class Queer by Lori Fox: In essays that are both accessible and inspiring, Lori Fox examines their confrontations with the capitalist patriarchy through their experiences as a queer, non-binary, working-class farm hand, labourer, bartender, bush-worker, and road dog, exploring the ugly places where issues of gender, sexuality, class, and the environment intersect.

In applying the micro to the macro, demonstrating how the personal is political and vice versa, Fox exposes the flaws in believing that this is the only way our society can or should work. Brash, topical, and passionate, This Has Always Been a War is not only a collection of essays, but a series of dispatches from the combative front lines of our present-day culture.

Do you have a lit journal issue, chapbook, book, or other work that’s about to be published? Email us at to be added to our Books Available to Review list and featured on an upcoming Now Read This list.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.