Review: Whereas by Layli Long Soldier

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Review: Whereas by Layli Long Solider (Gray Wolf Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

I was lost, looking for a wedding in the Valley of Fire, Red Rock, Nevada.  At every curve in the road, I thought the towering stone formations might reveal my friend’s white dress. When it was clear I wouldn’t find the party, I parked the car and wandered into the crevices between the rocks. I waded through the fine, pink sand to the place where I could see the petroglyphs carved into their faces. Around me were creatures who looked rabbit-human, goat-human, and spirals, and horned insecta. I walked deeper into the rock, looking for more of the 3000-year-old language, the setting sun making the world more red. Continue reading

Review: Gas, Food, and No Lodging by Devi Laskar

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Gas, Food, and No Lodging by Devi Laskar (Finishing Line Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Leonora Simonovis

The term “interculturality” has been widely used in pedagogic and academic settings to contextualize the interactions between individuals from two or more cultures. Rather than speaking about others and their differences, an interculturally competent individual seeks to establish a dialogue that acknowledges diversity and, at the same time, focuses on aspects that make communication possible and that enable an understanding of another person’s culture. In a world where borders are becoming increasingly porous, more and more writers address these exchanges in their work from a variety of perspectives, sometimes as observers, others as insiders. Such is the work of poets Erika Sanchez, Javier Zamora, Juan Felipe Herrera, Layli Longsoldier, Natalie Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Li-Young Lee or Jaswinder Bolina, to mention just a few. Continue reading

Review: Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

cawaw-687x1029Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar (Alice James Books, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I saw Kaveh Akbar read last month under a white tent lit with string lights in Emily Dickinson’s garden. The garden, of course, was not as tranquil as it had been when Emily sat there. Akbar read over a hum of street traffic and chatting pedestrians. At moments, though, it was quiet. Akbar read elegy after elegy – for lost language and lost friends, for a version of himself that drank more and hurt more – and I thought of Emily. “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, / One need not be a house…” Continue reading

Recommended Reading: 2017 National Book Award Nominees

by Rebecca Valley

In anticipation of the short-list announcement tomorrow, the staff here at Drizzle have compiled a list of our favorite and most-anticipated National Book Award nominees, announced by the National Book Foundation in mid-September.

You can check out the full list here. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on November 15th — which gives you plenty of time to start reading! Continue reading

Review: The Voice of That Singing by Juliet Rodeman

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The Voice of That Singing by Juliet Rodeman (Tupelo Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

Early in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Mirror, a child watches the family barn burning behind their country house. It’s raining. His young mother watches too, her back to the camera, the water dripping off the porch awning. Still the barn burns. No urgency, as though a barn burning is a natural part of the landscape. Over the course of the film, in every room of the country house, the watcher has the feeling that the child, the narrator—Tarkovsky’s voice reciting his father’s poems–is living at once every age of his life. Continue reading

Local Forecast: Whirlwind @ Lesbos by Risa Denenberg

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Whirlwind @ Lesbos by Risa Denenberg (Headmistress Press, 2016)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

After a long hiatus, I’ve returned to our Local Forecast series on writers of the Pacific Northwest with a book that, while written by a local, is remarkably worldly. Whirlwind @ Lesbos, the latest collection by Seattlite Risa Denenberg, is aptly named – the poems in this collection pull from the deepest corners of the poet’s memory and are juxtaposed together to create a sensual, painful epic where a lover is lost at the same moment, or perhaps even before, she is found, and ghosts churn, only occasionally showing their faces. Continue reading