Karla Kelsey

Threshold Songs

Peter Gizzi

One of the great pleasures of editing the Constant Critic is that my fellow critics consistently bother me with what they say in their reviews—providing the good kind of discomfort that causes me to revisit, revise, abandon, or sometimes (admittedly) re-entrench some of my previously…

Saint Erasure

Donna de la Perrière

Despite currents of panic and loss flowing through Saint Erasure, this book manifests quietly. It has the feeling of speech performed by a solitary speaker in an abandoned picnic shelter overlooking the sea. If you have driven any stretch of U.S. coastal highway you know…

The Wide Road

Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian

On the Road’s last long sentence concludes the novel with the (in)famous “scoping” from external observation to internal reflection created by Kerouac’s breath-taking spontaneous prose: So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long,…

The History of Violets

Marosa di Giorgio

Ugly Duckling Presse has just published a translation of Uruguayan poet Marosa di Giorgio’s 1965 book, The History of Violets. The press’s website, which has not-to-be-missed audio clips of the author reading her work in the original Spanish, bears quotes from Kent Johnson and the…

Haecceities

Michael Cross

On the eve of the second decade of the twenty-first century we are confronted by the potential passing of the print book in for-profit publishing. While small presses specializing in books that require paper bodies may sit at some distance from the fray, challenges to…

Life of a Star

Jane Unrue

By definition the prose poem arises from a site of struggle and composes a union of opposites. We know that a prose poem succeeds when we discern the struggle and see the way in which the tension inherent in the genre reveals something essential about…

Wings Without Birds

Brian Henry

Readers familiar with Quarantine (Ahsahta Press, 2006) and Stripping Point (Counterpath, 2007)—Brian Henry’s most recent books until Wings Without Birds came out from Salt—will immediately see this book as a departure. First, Quarantine and Stripping Point both strongly hinge on inviting us to think of…

Ventrakl

Christian Hawkey

Ventrakl, Christian Hawkey’s latest book (out October 1st from UDP), centers around the late 19th /early 20th century German Experssionist poet Georg Trakl, and self-identifies, via subtitle, as a collaboration between the two poets. Here, Christian Hawkey works to authentically communicate with Georg Trakl. To…

The Bride of E

Mary Jo Bang

I have been thinking about how to talk and write about Mary Jo Bang’s new book, The Bride of E, for quite some time. It is one of those books that I immediately took to, but had a hard time articulating how it was doing…