Today my dearest books are shaped for cities—books to curl around on the coffeeshop stool, books to read in differently lighted squares on the train. Books to loan to friends and enemies, to ask about in public libraries. And because these books regularly speak to my experience right now, in this horrific political moment populated by racists, trickled-out economies, skeletal polar bears (and deep, fierce familial love), reading them keeps me in my body. This keeps me connected to the […]
“If beauty is in acts of ordinary devotion I think ugliness must be in the acts of everyday neglect, small gestures that chip and chip and eventually rip shards of what it means to be human, to be loved and loving, out of you. It is easy to pretend nothing is happening.” – Arabelle Sicardi, “The Year in Ugliness” (Hazlitt) When I was sixteen, I started working at a corporate bookstore, and I kept working until I graduated from college. […]
Because I also make what I consume—and I mean this in the nourishing way not the money one, though I do tithe wages and I always spend money in bookstores, and on friends’ art—my year-end list is a personal thing. It’s almost a medical record. I read, and then I write.
“I wrote this book in a circular home on a hill, overlooking the city, which roams while we are sleeping; I wrote it in a café with my friends; I wrote it as I looked for hidden streets, while sitting in desolate and lush spaces. I wanted to say language leaves a trace, also my saying I have walked. And, this is important, because, though these marks do not render precisely the picture of our crisis, they do show where […]
I read a lot this year—reading is what’s constant in all jobs I work—and one book that really shook my shoulders was Alice Notley’s Coming After. It’s quietly brilliant criticism—essays and lectures; Sunday clothes—and an early archive of poets Notley knew and loved and felt deserved more critical attention. It’s also a glitched dirge—Notley writes about her husband Ted’s death but life after it too, and not much about herself as a widow. I loved this book because it’s in […]
AWP is coming close to an end. Either that, or you’re already sick of attending panel after panel and just want to explore the great city you’re currently visiting for the next few days. Whatever your particular situation, Mairead Case has you covered.