Now Read This: May 2023

Highlighting recently released and forthcoming works by marginalized creators

This Conversation Is Being Recorded by Hannah Kezema

Hannah Kezema’s hybrid debut, This Conversation Is Being Recorded, is a vibrant collection of poems and erasures of painted, dirtied, and flora-filled legal documents and interview notes from her experiences as an investigator and editor in the insurance fraud industry. Blurring documentary poetics, memoir, and visual mediums, Kezema examines the corrupt nature of the U.S. healthcare system and increase in workers’ compensation claims amidst a global pandemic and climate change crisis. These poems were written as a means of survival during widespread tragedy, wildfires, and late-stage capitalism.

回 / Return by Emily Lee Luan

Rooted in the classical tradition of the Chinese “reversible” poem, 回 / Return is engaged in the act of looking back—toward an imagined homeland and a childhood of suburban longing, through migratory passages, departures, and etymologies, and into the various holes and voids that appear in the telling and retelling of history. The poems ask: What is feeling? What is melancholy? Can language translate either?

nature felt but never apprehended by Angela Peñaredondo

Angela Peñaredondo’s nature felt but never apprehended synthesizes poetry, lyric prose, fragmented creative nonfiction, and visual art. They voyage through the junctures of gender and environmental injustices, and its connections between Philippines’ histories of foreign invasions and intimacies of survivorhood. Peñaredondo wields queer, diasporic mythmaking, affective experiences of ritual and prayer as an illuminating force in the tangles of intergenerational memory.

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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.