An interview with Barnaby Hazen

The author of Misfortunes of T-Funk talks about the inspiration for his story, the relationship between real-life and fiction, how he came up with incorporating music, the genres and artists that influence the music in his book, the fascinations of music, his periodical Seven Eleven Stories, what’s coming next, and more.

A review of Secret of Abbott’s Cave by Max Elliot Anderson

Anderson has created a high interest, action packed, easily read, adventure filled chapter book certain to please middle grade readers. While my career spanning nearly 4 decades was spent in the K 1 arena, Secret of Abbott’s Cave is a book I used during the two years I taught Osage County fourth grade in Osage County. It was a book with good appeal for both girls and boys.

Corrections: An Internet Interview with Jack Hamilton, author of Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination

Sam Cooke and Bob Dylan are compared by Hamilton for their musical roots and affiliation with particular communities and subsequent independence and experimentations with genre and form, though Dylan’s work has received much more critical exploration and celebration, suggesting, among other things, a misunderstanding of the choices—aesthetic, intellectual, spiritual, and political—that are made by African-American artists, who want both creativity and commerce, glamour and grit, imagination and intellect, and whose works affirm both style and substance.

Interview with Allison Pitinii Davis

The author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk talks about her book, narratives and counter-narratives, the nature of poetry and confrontation, the interaction between language and the person sensing it, the relationship between the living and the dead and a lot more.

A review of Line Study of a Motel Clerk by Allison Pitinii Davis

Art, in this messy overlayering, produces “some kind of complicated, collective accuracy.” Like the best works, Line Study gives a sense of speaking to the present as if to the future. “Because the ones who wrote today’s edition,” as Davis writes in the titular and final poem, “have already written tomorrow’s.” Should we all be so lucky to actually hear Tiresias speak.

A review of Porch Light by Ivy Ireland

In the opening line, Ireland poses a question about the relationship between the individual, and a theory of everything: “If you consulted your own cipher mind (if what presents as yours could be compressed in such a lazy line), would it encircle this whole ball of string/theory/or only what lies beneath?” In the world of Porch Light, the answer is yes.

A review of The Golden Child by Wendy James

The plot moves fast, the narrative driving the reading towards its final unnerving twist. It all happens almost too quickly. James’ writing is so smooth, and the story so powerfully plotted, that its easy to miss how neatly the shifts are between the individual voices, the many delicate links between cause and effect and the parallels between adults and children as we move from one character to another, the way the reader is unwittingly drawn into the toxic culture of privilege that underpins these characters, or how subtle the thematics.