recommendations for winter

by sophie

(note: I won’t write “real” reviews here – I seem to be opposed to writing critical analyses…..I’m saving those for my next adventure in academia. I’d rather write impressions & encouragements towards art that I love. There’s enough strong critical opinions out there in blog-land to choke a wildebeest. moving right along…)

poetry:
I’ve recently finished Allison Titus’ chapbook, instructions from the narwhal. Titus keeps a syntax precise & unexpected, keeps her hand steady on the strange lens. Reading these poems, one has the sensation of peering into a miniature railroad set & being hit with the realization that it is you & your life depicted in the desolate landscape, & with small mechanical movement lights will go on in the tiny house to reveal interior movements so obscure you didn’t realize could be captured. & yes, so familiar.

A poem of mine will appear in the Open Thread Regional Review, Vol. 1, sometime in January. A celebratory release event is sure to happen – details to follow. For more information on Open Thread, and how you can become involved, please direct your attention here.

fiction:
Re-read Jose Saramago’s All the Names. This was one of the first Saramago books I’d encountered, after Blindness. These days, I refuse to be without Saramago’s influence for too many months at a time. Why is it that even his tangents seem urgent? Perhaps it is because Saramago’s investment in the narrative never ceases, the tangent is a part of the stream of consciousness is part of the necessity. Because the story would not be the same without it, because the tangent is not a sideways gesture for Saramago, is part of the whole; while not linear, is not disconnected. I love Saramago because he is at once the most innovative & the most traditional of storytellers. Very much looking forward to reading his newest work Death With Interruptions.

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