Highlighting recently released and forthcoming works by marginalized creators
In A Queen in Bucks County, our protagonist Turner, who both is and is not the writer, makes his pleasurable way through miserable space. Men “buy him things,” lovers drive across state lines, users down volatile cocktails to see what happens, landlords turn tenants out, and Turner writes poetic tracts to friends about it. Part pornography, part novel, all love letter, A Queen in Bucks County is an experiment in turning language upside down to see what falls out.
My Manservant and Me is a story about the trials and tribulations of having a live-in valet. Written from the uneasy perspective of an aging, incontinent author of extremely successful middlebrow plays, in My Manservant and Me, we learn about the author’s live-in manservant, a young film actor who is easily moved to both delicate gestures and terrible tantrums, who’s been authorized to handle his master’s finances, who orders stock buys, dictates his master’s wardrobe, sleeps in his master’s bed, and yet won’t let him watch variety television. My Manservant and Me reveals the rude specificities of this relationship with provocative humor and stylistic abjection. This manservant won’t be going anywhere.
summonings by Raena Shiral
Indebted to the docupoetics tradition, Raena Shirali’s summonings investigates the ongoing practice of witch (“daayan”) hunting in India. Here, poems interrogate the political implications & shortcomings of writing Subaltern personae while acknowledging the author’s Westernized positionality. Continuing to explore multi-national and intersectional concerns around identity raised in her debut collection, Shirali asks how first- & second-generation immigrants reconcile the self with the lineages that shape it, wondering aloud about those lineages’ relationships to misogyny & violence. These precarious poems explore how antiquated & existing norms surrounding female mysticism in India & America inform each culture’s treatment of women. As Jericho Brown wrote of Shirali’s poetics in GILT, her “comment on culture, on identity, on justice is her comment on poetry.” summonings is comment on power & patriarchy, on authorial privilege & the shifting role of witness, &, ultimately, on an ethical poetics, grounded in the inevitable failure to embody the Other.
Do you have a lit journal issue, chapbook, book, or other work that’s about to be published? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our Books Available to Review list and featured on an upcoming Now Read This list.