Now Read This: December 2022

Highlighting recently released and forthcoming works by marginalized creators

Another Way to Split Water by Alycia Pirmohamed

In Alycia Pirmohamed’s debut collection, Another Way to Split Water, a woman’s body expands and contracts across the page, fog uncoils at the fringes of a forest, and water in all its forms cascades into metaphors of longing and separation just as often as it signals inheritance, revival, and recuperation. Language unfolds into unforgettable and arresting imagery, offering a map toward self-understanding that is deeply rooted in place: the prairies and mountains of Alberta, Canada, the hills and gardens of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the coastlines of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These poems are a lyrical exploration of how ancestral memory reforms and transforms throughout generations, through stories told and retold, imagined and reimagined. It is a meditation on womanhood, belonging, faith, intimacy, and the natural world.

Unbound by Aaron Shurin

Unbound is a poet’s intimate account of life in San Francisco in the ’80s and ’90s during the apex of the AIDS epidemic. In his search for meaning, Shurin dives down into the broken-hearted, revelatory core of the social landscape and the lives of friends who both succumbed to and transcended the disease. Twenty-five years after its initial publication, Unbound continues the search, resonating inescapably with the perils of our new pandemic.

When Ilium Burns by Tiffany Troy

When Ilium Burns is a bildungsroman for anyone who ever dreamed big and loved someone more extraordinary than themselves. Interwoven with Homeric narratives, Tiffany Troy crafts an epic landscape and cosmology of her own in When Illium Burns.

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.