The Eternal Return of the Same

by Gerry LaFemina Sometime in the late nineties a writer friend of mine said that if you ever wanted to write a Charles Simic poem all you needed was the moon, an alley, a young child, a woman in a babushka, and perhaps a chicken. I thought of this recently after finishing up a first […]


Book Review: RUST BELT BOY by Paul Hertneky

Rust Belt Boy:  Stories of An American Childhood by Paul Hertneky Bauhan Publishing, 2016 $21.95 Reviewed by Kelly Kepner Paul Hertneky exemplifies Western Pennsylvanian familiarity in his new essay collection, Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood. Hailing from a place known for its bullshitting, a gift explored in the essay, “Humility and Its Opposite,” Hertneky […]


Book Review: THE LOSS OF ALL LOST THINGS by Amina Gautier

The Loss of All Lost Things by Amina Gautier Elixir Press, 2016 $17.00 Reviewed by Shelby Vane Not all loss is created equal. As I read Amina Gautier’s third collection of short stories, The Loss of All Lost Things (Elixir Press 2015), I tried to imagine the extent of loss I could endure. The loss of a […]


Book Review: A CONTRIVED WORLD by Jung Young-Moon

A Contrived World by Jung Young Moon Trans. by Jeffrey Karvonen & Mah Eunji Dalkey Archives Press, 2016 $16.00 Reviewed by Heather McAdams Constructing A Contrived World, Korean writer and translator Jung Young Moon layers thoughtful vignettes, pulled from his narrator’s vivid imagination, to weave fiction and reality together. Set in the streets of a fictitious San Francisco, […]

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for American Poetry, 2017

by Gerry LaFemina These are resolutions for poetry. For readers. For writers. For what’s possible. For some, they may seem curmudgeonly. So be it. For some, they might seem frivolous. So what? We live in a time when there are more poems being written, being published in journals, published in anthologies and books, and yet, […]

Confessions of a Could-be Confessional Poet

by Gerry LaFemina A recent collection of essays, After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography, raises some issues about confessionalism, autobiography, and the role of the lyric I. Confessionalism, that moniker lodged against Lowell by M.L. Rosenthal that was then owned by an entire school of poetry, has of course led to numerous classroom discussions in which […]