The Constant Critic

Citizen: An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine

Therapy is exhausting. Bringing everything that is uppermost out for someone you pay to respond makes you doubly vulnerable — you relive traumas instead of repressing them, and you rely on a guide for empathy and reason as they support your attempt to make sense…

Performative Criticism and Against Conceptual Poetry

Ron Silliman

I recently participated in a panel discussion on the topic of performative criticism at REVERSE, the Copenhagen International Poetry Festival held at their LiteraturHaus. My co-panelists were Danish-Norwegian critic Susanne Christensen, Swedish critic and poet Magnus William-Olsson, and Danish writer Kamilla Löftström. The conversation was…

Life in a Box is a Pretty Life

Dawn Lundy Martin

In Dawn Lundy Martin’s challenging, evocative, necessary new book Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books), she offers smart, frank, actual living thought that seeks to destabilize and illustrate some of the ways that black female subjectivity continues to be framed by…

the L notebook

Sabine Macher

As temperatures hover in the upper 80s, summertime’s fantasy of ease takes over, gives rise to a self that, in lieu of work, throws on flip-flops and a swimsuit and heads to the pool. This summerself, only partly satisfied by hours under the shade of…

Things To Do With Your Mouth

Divya Victor

Recently released by Les Figues press, Divya Victor’s Things To Do With Your Mouth examines hysteria and psychoanalytic theory, exploring how bodies are fragmented, dismembered, and silenced when they enter the symbolic order. Victor’s appropriations, permutations, and repetitions serve to explode the basis by which…

The Self Unstable

Elisa Gabbert

Although The Self Unstable is her third book, Elisa Gabbert’s dominant mode of publication is the tweet, of which she is queen. As of circa right this moment, she has composed almost 45,000 of them, and, happily, she knows no sign of stopping or slowing…

Orange Roses

Lucy Ives

I started reading Lucy Ives’s Orange Roses in the local library; I enjoyed the architecture of the building, the clerestory, but the screaming children did me in. As I walked out, I thought about the modernist ambitions of the library, a concrete brutalist bunker with…


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