Off-Kilter and Tilted: A Journey Through Robert Vaughan’s “Askew”


Robert Vaughan’s latest is meant to unsettle. The book is broken down into three subsections of poems and microfictions: Cacophony, Aviary, and Demented. A key for my reading comes from “Tilted” from Christine & the Queens: “I start the books at the end/ I got my chin up for nothing/ My crying eye is because of the wind/ My absences are a feeling/ I can’t stand…I pretend to have understood everything.”  So much of Askew is about atmosphere, of feeling unable to stand because of circumstance, of not understanding fully what has transpired and why it happened. I got my critic’s chin up, only to feel like interpretation and categorization isn’t the game here. 

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Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 71: Robert Vaughan)

Robert Vaughan

ROBERT VAUGHAN is the author of six poetry, fiction and cross-genre writing books, including Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2014), a collaboration of stories with Kathy Fish entitled RIFT (Unknown Press, 2015), FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press, 2016), and Askew (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2022). He teaches writing retreats at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, NM, and Synergia Ranch outside of Santa Fe, NM, and is Editor-In-Chief of the literary journal Bending Genres.

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