Litstack Review: And There Was Evening And There Was Morning, by Mike Smith

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And There was Evening And There Was Morning, Essays on Illness, Loss, and Love, by Mike Smith (WTAW Press) “Mourning,” Hilary Mantel wrote, “is work. It is not simply being sad. It is naming your pain. It is witnessing the sorrow of others, drawing out the shape of loss.” Who among us, when grieving, is [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “The Journey” by Mary Oliver

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For the final Gimbling in the Wabe of this year’s National Poetry Month, I am highlighting a poet who, to me, epitomizes the music that swells inside of us, that is both deeply personal and yet encompasses the omniscience of the beauty and solace of the natural world: Mary Oliver. Winner of both the Pulitzer [….]

LitStack Rec: How to Grow Old Disgracefully & Life on Mars

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How to Grow Old Disgracefully: An Autobiography, by Hermione Gingold If you’re a fan of classic films, say, Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical, Gigi, or classic stagings of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, you already know Hermione Gingold, the earthy actress with the husky voice and wicked sense of irony. Otherwise, Gingold is likely a mystery, [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “Renascence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Edna St. Vincent Millay was already a published poet in her teen years, but it was at age nineteen when she submitted her poem, Renascence, to a contest run by The Lyric Year that the world sat up and took notice – not because it won, but because it didn’t. Ms. Millay’s work – clearly [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “Home” by Warsan Shire

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April is National Poetry Month, and in honor of that I am stepping a bit out of my comfort zone and posting poems that have spoken to me personally. This week, I give to you a powerful and heart breaking poem by Warsan Shire, a poet and activist who was born in Kenya to Somali [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Allowables by Nikki Giovanni

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It’s April, which has been declared National Poetry Month; a celebration of poetry created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. I’m not a poetry aficionado; much of it is way over my head. But some of it – oh, [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – The Importance of the Nonsensical

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It’s been a rough week and I’ve been at a loss on what to write, so I decided to look through my old Gimblings to see if anything caught my eye.  This one seemed, if not topical, at least applicable to what’s going on in our world today. So – enjoy! I hope it tickles [….]

LitStack Rec: my name on his tongue & Hild

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my name on his tongue, by Laila Halaby In the climate of inflamed rhetoric about immigrants that has predominated in this election year, a small, quiet book like Laila Halaby’s my name on his tongue can speak volumes. In her first book of poetry, published in 2012, Halaby mines issues of identity, geography and the [….]

2016 Pushcart Prize XL: Best of the Small Presses & John Saturnall’s Feast

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2016 Pushcart Prize XL: Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson with Pushcart Prize editors There are best-of anthologies I look forward to each year—short stories, essays, travel writing—most of which are contained in the volumes published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. These are reliably excellent reading and the source of some of my [….]

LitStack Recs: Brooklyn & 3 Sections

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Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin Toibin’s 2009 novel, which won that year’s Costa Award, is a lovely and haunting story set in 1950s Dublin and New York. It tells of Eilis Lacey, born and raised in Enniscorthy, in Ireland’s County Wexford, and her immigration to the United States as a young woman. Her well-meaning sister, Rose, [….]