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Spring 2011

Motherhood, disenthralled

Bring Down the Little Birds by Carmen Giménez Smith 2010 The University of Arizona Press Buy this book This slim memoir is soaked in the partum-based worry many mothers-to-be endure. The birth year Giménez Smith covers overlaps with her mother’s prognosis of, and tre atment for, a brain tumor. These threads, as well as some [...]

Bright and shiny life

While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut Delacorte Press 2011 Buy this book In his 1997 book Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.” Vonnegut was the Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, and he once wrote, “When I [...]

Talismans by Sybil Baker C & R Press 2010 Buy this book In Sybil Baker’s linked story collection, Talismans, readers simultaneously experience the emotional and geographic territory of Elise­’s world as she navigates loss and pursues connection–from girl to woman and from small-town Virginia to Southeast Asia. While each story represents a key moment in [...]

Speech Acts by Laura McCullough Black Lawrence Press 2010 Buy this book   In her poem “What Can Happen in the Dunes,” Laura McCullough writes: My body was fertile, then not, then fecund, again, with language. There’s a connection between the throat and vagina; tighten one, they both clench, the throat taking what’s bitten off, [...]