Sarah Creech’s first novel, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow 2014), is a beautiful book and mesmerizing story. The story is about the Lenore women and their perfumery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is, as the synopsis promises, “a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love.” Continue reading
Here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, early winter is grey with rain and clouds and cold. And something about the color of the sky makes me miss Louisiana. I picked up Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk (Yellow Flag Press 2014), and while I hoped that it would quell my craving for roux-based poetry, I did not know how fully it would suit.
When I was reading J. Bruce Fuller’s Notes to a Husband this summer, I was also moving in with my boyfriend. And while Fuller’s chapbook is about a relationship ending, there is so much wisdom in these short notes from a wife to her husband that rather than finding a guide to ending a relationship, I found reminders of how to be fully in one. And yes, this is a composition of loss, but it’s also a guide to mindfulness.
Self-defined as a two-woman operation, Hyacinth Girl Press (HPG) is micro-press that publishes up to six handmade poetry chapbooks per year. After being introduced to its editor, Margaret Bashaar at AWP 2014, Bashaar asked what kind of poetry I write, and in the haze of the AWP Bookfair, I completely failed at selling myself. Fortunately, Bashaar was much better at selling her press and convinced me to buy two of its chapbooks: Catastrophe Theory by Susan Yount (2012) and By Fire by Jessica Cuello (2013).
Imagine for a moment the devastation brought about by a particularly bad hurricane. Imagine if, in the wake of that first hurricane, another one headed in just a few days later. And another. And another. Imagine that this happened for so long, that things got so bad, the government wrote off an entire section of the country. Imagine the kinds of people who would stay behind in a no-man’s land battered routinely by storms of ever-increasing size. This is the world of Rivers, the remarkable debut novel from Michael Farris Smith, out next month from Simon and Schuster. Continue reading