This has never happened to me before: finish a book in one sitting, close the cover, sit in shock for a minute, then start reading right from the beginning again. But that’s exactly what happened reading this play. Heartbreaking, funny, surreal yet oh-so real and deeply human—it was truly a breathtaking read. I’ve been following Connell’s work for many, many years now, and she’s getting better and better with each work she puts out. So what is it about? It’s a play about a contemporary clinical abortion set as a western. Intrigued yet? You should be. Go read it.
Teaser Text: "This play is about love. It is about trying to have integrity in a world you don't understand. We live in lawless times. Things are exquisite and devastating and totally normal. But you cannot abandon the world, so you write this experience down."
If I could’ve yelled at someone for not introducing me to Carl Phillip’s work earlier, I would have. After reading Reconnaissance, there was some heavy binge-buying of all things Carl Phillips, let me tell you. Nuanced, beautiful, complex—I’ll be dipping into these poems again and again. If this is a poet you’re not familiar with, it’s time to do some reconnaissance of your own to track down his work.
abandon's still just a word to be turned away from, as from a man
Raw, fierce, intelligent, unflinching, uncompromising, and complex—My Ariel is an intense poetic masterpiece. In fact, I had so many note tags in my copy that my partner felt compelled to ask me what I was reading. My response—I wildly waved the hardcover at him and gasped, “it’s so damn good” (incidentally, this is also why I don’t write book reviews). It’s a book that definitely isn’t an easy read. While it goes one-on-one with Sylvia Plath’s work, there are so many layers here (gender, genius, motherhood, womanhood, humanhood—just to name a few) that I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface, but I look forward to rereading it copiously.
How’s your attention span? Are you eagle-like in your focus or could a goldfish take you down (Mmm, sorry, what? I was checking Facebook/Instagram/my phone…) With today’s smorgasbord of distractions, many of us a getting our asses kicked by koi, but have you ever considered how that’s impacting your work? This guy has and boy is it an eye-opener on how important finding completely uninterrupted time to focus on your life’s work is (convincing enough that after reading it I started hauling my butt out of bed at 6:00 so I could write before heading to my 9 to 5).
Teaser Text: "Deep work is necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity."
Everything We’ve Loved Comes Back To Find Us - Allan Cooper (Poetry)
What I admire about Allan Cooper’s work is how his fierce attention gets translated into seemingly simple, graceful poems that are actually incredibly intense and complex below the surface. In this collection, there’s a beautiful tension between the past and the present, those we’ve lost and those who come into the world after us. It’s a work filled with ghosts and hope, that everything we’ve ever loved does find a way to come back to find us in the most ordinary and extraordinary ways.
Room after room opens inside my body. This is the place where our tenderness can go, our grief, the holiest of gestures we have made.