A Fresh Look at André Spears’ “From the Lost Land I-XII”

“And it is all held together in an irrepressible delight in language and what happens when language and imagination are unleashed and told to have a good time.”

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The Creases Between Utterances: Jenny Xie’s “The Rupture Tense”

(Zoo Monkey)

“Whether [Jenny] Xie’s volume was long in the making or came out in a fiery burst (maybe both, by parts?), it is a work of substance, worthy of its current high reputation.”

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Edgar Kunz’s “Tap Out” and “Fixer”

“Edgar Kunz, the author of Tap Out and Fixer, does not refer to himself specifically as blue collar, proletarian, or working class. Well-meaning others, such as mentor Edward Hirsch, do so, referring to Tap Out as ‘gutsy, tough-minded, working-class poems of memory and initiation.'”

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On Arthur Sze’s “The Silk Dragon II”

(Tang Dynasty era art—The Emperor Ming Huang Traveling in Shu)

Whatever one may say about the People’s Republic of China today, it once offered the model of the poet-emperor, as well as poets employed in political life, wedding governance to lyric spirit.”

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Bianca Stone, What Is Otherwise Infinite

By that token, perhaps Bianca Stone is just the poet for our times. Her verses wrestle with a dirty angel, one that bites and kicks. There is no snow-white falcon in her pages. But she does not quit.”

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Lisa Olstein’s Dream Apartment

(Copper Canyon Press)

“The Dream Apartment is no Barbie’s Dream House. It is rather an abode of opaque and backlit, sometimes hard-edged reverie.”

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From Town Bloody Hall to 2023: A Tale of Two Debates on Women’s Liberation

Avoiding these truly current, red hot issues, the women speak past each other.”

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With Action, Gran Turismo Crosses the Finish Line. With Drama, Not So Much

(Columbia Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

“On the basis of viscerality alone, Gran Turismo is worth the price of admission for the two-hour cruise along.”

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Mark Goldblatt and the Art of Persuasion

“I cannot argue with his characterization of Foucault, Derrida, and Barthes as a ‘triumvirate of stooges,’ but with me, he is preaching to the choir. How will he convince the postmodernists?”

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Review: “Yellowface” by R.F. Kuang

Yellowface has its strengths. Kuang is terrific when parodying the loathsome impulses of social media and book reviewers. She also offers wisdom about the publishing industry and the inner life of a writer.”

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Should You Read the Same Book Twice?

“Amid this exchange about the importance of recentering the essential literature of our history, I posed to Mac Donald a question that has been on my mind since my days as a student at The Haverford School: Should one make a habit of reading the same book twice?”

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A Once Unnecessary Reminder: Criticism Produces Good Works

(Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

“My own song ‘Alabama’ richly deserved the shot Lynyrd Skynyrd gave me with their great record. I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending…”

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Review: James I. Porter’s “Homer: The Very Idea”

“But the price of that fame and quasi-divine status took its toll. ‘Immortality had its costs,’ Porter writes, ‘and Homer paid for it dearly.'”

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Review: Philip Freeman’s “Hannibal”

(J.M.W. Turner’s “Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps” (1812).)

“Freeman’s book, as the author acknowledges, is written as something of a eulogy to this great man of antiquity, who has captured imaginations for two millennia.”

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Review: Eden Collinsworth’s “What the Ermine Saw”

“Almost all the key events of modern Europe were seen through the eyes of this painting, which Collinsworth vividly brings to life in her writing.”

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