Everything, Issue 64, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Some Girls Walk Into the Country They Are From by Sawako Nakayasu

It’s complicated, reading poetry in translation. On the one hand, a reader may feel compelled to pursue translated poetry as a good “literary citizen,” as if the action’s moral correctitude were a bygone conclusion. Translated literature, the thought goes, can interrogate and pierce one’s cultural blindspots and preconceptions. If you exclusively read books written in […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 63, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: VILLAINY by Andrea Abi-Karam

Andrea Abi-Karam’s VILLAINY, out from Nightboat Books, is an energizing second collection. Building off of the signature style and questions raised by their debut EXTRATANSMISSION, this book weaves a whole new grain of vulnerability and introspection through its call. Their debut was invested in the critique of US military violence, of surveillance, via the performative […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 63, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Best of the Net Nominees 2021

We’re thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net anthology: Creative Nonfiction: In Bermuda … by Stephen Foster Smith Homegrown by Iris Yu Poetry Fentanyl by Zachary Bond Making Pumpkin Pie in July with You by Stephanie Choi Doxycycline by Rob Colgate AN INTERNET QUIZ by Lucas Peel Witness by Samia Saliba They by Joanna C. Valente

Read more
Everything, Issue 62, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Seed by Joanna Walsh

It’s become a bit of a trope to claim certain novels as “unfilmable” – that no matter what extraordinary efforts a director exercises, Blood Meridian, for example, will never be displayed on the silver screen. I’d always viewed these claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. We have a version of Cloud Atlas, after all, […]

Read more
Everything, interview, Issue 61, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Conversation: Briauna Taylor

Briauna Taylor is a queer poet, teaching artist, and seeker of magick in Portland, Oregon. She created and facilitated the youth writing programming and open mic series ‘Mind & Mouth’ with former radical youth non-profit MarrowPDX. She leads youth and all ages writing workshops across the city, most recently her newest project, Tender Community Garden. […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 61, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Born in a Second Language by Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie

Born in a Second Language by Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie published by Button Poetry is a remarkable work of writing through in-betweenness of body and nation, mind and mother-tongue. Afiriyie-Hwedie balances the languages and nations her self has touched so carefully in this collection. The collection encomapsses an impressive spread of form and style — Afiriyie-Hwedie […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 60, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Pop Song by Larissa Pham

Somewhere near the middle of Larissa Pham’s memoir-in-essays, Pop Song, she starts a piece, “What we say without saying,” with a simple statement. “There’s a recording of James Blake covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’ live, on a BBC radio show, from February 2011,” she tells us. She goes on to describe Blake’s vulnerability […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 59, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Chokecherry by Lyd Havens

It may sound odd to say that Lyd Havens’ poetry collection, Chokecherry, is an absolute joy, when every page expresses a deep lingering grief. Their haunting words take root and take flight, as they float through years of both traumatic dreams and a nightmarish reality, wrestling with painful memories before learning to be thankful for […]

Read more
Everything, interview, issue 58, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Conversation: Zuri McWhorter

Zuri McWhorter—born and rooted in Detroit, Michigan—is carving out a place for her work as a writer, photographer, and filmmaker. Since 2015 she has self-published two poetry collections, Woes of a Well Lit City, and Not too Far from China. In 2017, Zuri started her own lit and art zine for independent creators, Juste Milieu. […]

Read more
Everything, issue 58, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Curb by Divya Victor

Divya Victor’s poetry collection Curb digs into the layers of community in United States suburbia, with a direct intensity that documents pervasive assaults against immigrants who settle here. She opens with a personal admission of her own mother being afraid all the time, of all places being the same in their lack of safety. We […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 56, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Nudes by Elle Nash

Even from its opening sentence, Elle Nash’s new story collection, Nudes, shapes the reader’s expectations. “It began when she moved in below their apartment,” Nash writes, “or maybe it began a week after when the boyfriend came downstairs to ask for a cup of sugar for a cake, or maybe it began a week after […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 54, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Requisite by Tanya Holtland

Tanya Holtland’s debut poetry collection, Requisite, opens with a preface that softly urges the importance of spiritual ecology, which seizes my attention immediately. She advocates for the harmony and healing of nature, and caring for the earth as an extension of ourselves. She stages a lyrical political battleground of environmental crisis and the draining of […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 54, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Cut Woman by DENA IGUSTI

Cut Woman, from small-press Game Over Books in Boston, is Dena Igusti’s debut collection. Their work is at its best in its play with space. Engaging with the trauma of female genital mutilation, the loss of her people, desire, and patriarchy, Igusti’s poems are varied in form but often united in their modes of fragmentation—apt, […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 54, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Favorite Things 2020

It’s been such a difficult year. As it comes to an end, the VCL team wanted to highlight some of the art, writing, and other things that brought us some joy and comfort this year. Clémence Chouteau, Art Editor 5 Things That Made 2020 Kind Of Okay   1. FUNNY WEATHER: ART IN AN EMERGENCY BY […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 54, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Pushcart Nominations 2020

The VCL team is thrilled to announce our nominations for the 2020 Pushcart Prizes! Creative Nonfiction: – Girls and Other People by L Scully– Homegrown by Iris Yu Poetry: – Reverend K.F. Lord Reveals The Spectre Of Newby Church, 1963 by Cassandra de Alba– Unremembering by Kavi Kshiraj– Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 by Esther Sun– nightmares […]

Read more
Everything, Issue 53, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Dogteeth by Levi Cain

Your body is a temple; so sayeth the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. In Boston-poet Levi Cain’s first chapbook Dogteeth, now on its second printing via Ursus Americanus Press, the body is more prismatic: it’s “a house / with newly washed floors,” “a pool to drink from,” or “an apartment / condemned by god.” This […]

Read more
Everything, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Black Lives Matter | June 2020

To our readers, The Vagabond City Lit staff stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all those protesting against police brutaality and anti-Black violence. We condemn the police murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the many more Black lives ended […]

Read more
Everything, interview, Issue 48, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Interview: George Abraham

George Abraham spoke with VCL’s Michelle Betters in early May about their first full-length collection of poems, BIRTHRIGHT. In the words of Naomi Shihab Nye, this is a “sizzling, flaring” book that merits multiple readings. But it’s also, as George explains below, a hot mess of prose, traditional poetry forms, erasure, and ekphrasis. In other […]

Read more
Issue 42, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: SPEECH by JILL MAGI

Speech, a reflective and well-timed new work by Jill Magi, is quite possibly the delicate walkthrough of life that so many of us secretly wish we had.  The speaker serves as a flawlessly observant guide on a linguistic journey, giving us both foresight and hindsight as we wander along a path that is at once […]

Read more
Everything, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

2019 Best of the Net Nominees

We’re thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2019 Best of the Net anthology. Nonfiction: “Fabric Wound and Unwound” by Tasneem Maher “Fear: A Collage” by Ronny Ford Poetry: “Gaslight” by Christian J. Collier “Yolk” by Cris Iacoponi “On Being Read My Miranda Rights in My Own Hallway”by Linette Reeman “At Beiteddine, Summer 2018” by […]

Read more