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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Everything, issue 51, review

In Review: Spectrum of Flight by David Hanlon

In times like these, coping with stress and change and seemingly unavoidable hopelessness, David Hanlon’s Spectrum of Flight is a testament to perserverance. His poems outline his strength and growth as he walks us back through his own life, showcasing many moments when he was knocked down and stood up again, a little taller each […]

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Everything, Issue 46, review

In Review: Repetition Nineteen by Mónica de la Torre

Mónica de la Torre’s marvelous work of art and language, Repetition Nineteen, weaves its way into the world this month to make our lives a little brighter. A vivid and thoughtful bilingual book, this work inspires readers to consider the misunderstandings and reliability of translating and code-switching, and gives us permission to fill in the […]

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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 […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Lesley LeRoux on “Celeris” by Emily O’Neill

There’s nothing like poetry that makes you stop and reread. Poetry you can savour – that clings to the back of your throat, insists on being taken in not just in one sitting. This is the poetry you fall back on, and that, perhaps, you have resting beside you on your bedside table, waiting. It’s […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Bethany Mary on “oooo” by Erin Taylor

You should be longing to read Erin Taylor’s book “oooo,” because these poems are the human definition of longing. They are confessions of actually wanting people to touch you on the metro, feeling cold and distant and needing comfort. Taylor admits, “I mainly bite my nails and sometimes have a person I admire paint them […]

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Everything, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

BOOKS WE READ + LOVED IN 2016

Well, Vagabonds. To say it’s been quite the year would be an understatement, but here we are. We re-launched. We’ve been blogging/reviewing/interviewing. We started a newsletter. We keep receiving incredible poetry/nonfiction/art from lovely writers and artists to publish. In the middle of all that, we’re reading, and then reading some more. Below, you’ll find some […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

BETHANY MARY on “AJEBOTA” by PRECIOUS OKOYOMON

“Ajebota” refers to the class difference between those who are wealthy and privileged versus “ajepako,” those who are not. It is a privilege to be able to follow the path you love, which, for Precious Okoyomon, is writing. She appropriates different texts and draws inspiration from various sources, including print and Internet. Her poetry compilation, […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Neyat Yohannes on “Plastic Pájaros” by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

She’s a self-proclaimed bruja, possibly a real actual pirate, a bookseller, and a nationally recognized spoken word poet who’s part of the 2015 National Poetry Slam championship winning team. Melissa Lozada-Oliva embodies all of these titles and can be found juggling them masterfully in Boston. She’s previously been published in Electric Cereal, Sidelines, Microchondria, and […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Neyat Yohannes on A NT by Elijah Pearson

The Lyte Funkie Ones, better known as LFO, were responsible for the infamous 1999 classic, “Summer Girls.” A laundry list of non sequiturs strung together to create a single—allegedly about girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch—that topped the music charts with seemingly unrelated lines like “When you take a sip/you buzz like a hornet/Billy Shakespeare […]

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WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Neyat Yohannes on Surveys by Natasha Stagg

“One day, I was not famous, the next day, I was almost famous and the temptation to go wide with that and reject my past was too great.” (8) This is the story Natasha Stagg tells in Surveys with astounding exactness and understanding of that esoteric corner of the internet of which we all, at […]

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