Category: Writing

Grant Clauser, Poet

Many readers dislike poetry because it’s, well, poetic, employing technical maneuvers like alliteration and assonance (and repetition). According to popular wisdom, prose is plainspoken; poetry is fancy. Poems don’t seem to say what they mean; they dance around the simply stated truth, impressed with their sophistication and refinement. The poet Grant Clauser offers a bracing antidote to...

Insurrections

The award-winning story collection Insurrections is set in imaginary Cross River, Maryland, populated by descendants of a successful slave revolt. Author Rion Amilcar Scott handles the omnipresent shroud of history deftly. Each story — about a former world champion “slapfighter”; about a terrible haircut experience; about a man who undergoes “reverse evolution” — casts oblique light...

The Bong-Ripping Brides of Count Drogado

Don’t let the campy title fool you. The steampunk novel “The Bong-Ripping Bridges of Count Drogado” is a serious work of literature. Author Dave K, like Edgar Allan Poe, hails from Baltimore, and like Poe he exhibits masterly tonal control, carefully choosing vocabulary and syntax to create a thoroughly convincing imaginary world in which sisters...

Alan Catlin’s “Blue Velvet”

The slim chapbook “Blue Velvet,” winner of the 30th annual Slipstream Prize, is the perfect gift for someone who normally hates poetry. Author Alan Catlin, a well-published scribe intimate with the thrilling debasements of our popular culture, has written thirty or so homages(?), with titles like Blade Runner, The Deer Hunter, and Crash. His language is plain, strong,...

Joe Baumann

Joe Baumann, PhD, writes short fiction that feels hyper-realistic, plausible. That he’s able to accomplish as much while telling stories like “For Rent,” about a woman who has allowed an artist — referred to only as The Artist — to take up residence in one of her ribs, is an astonishing literary trick. The Artist...

The Story of YEAR 14

In 2009, I started writing a book that I hoped would be timeless, something that could be read many years from today and still feel relevant and meaningful. Eight years later, that book is now in print. Ironically, early readers are calling it “timely.” When I completed the first draft of Year 14 in 2009,...

Homo Deus

Magnificent contradictions: a book that argues for the eventual extinction of “useless” religions written by a Professor at Hebrew University in Israel; a book that envisions homo sapiens as a God-like species that, nevertheless, will soon render itself irrelevant; a book that contains many factual errors, spelling errors, and one giant conceptual mistake that, nonetheless, makes its...

Rajeev Balasubramanyam

There might be more talented short fiction writers publishing today than any time in history. Even the most voracious reader can’t read them all. (Trust us, we’ve tried). Still, when we read the summer edition of The Missouri Review, the work of Rajeev Balasubramanyam, a British novelist, stood out. His story, “Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss,” about a famous...

This Loss Behind Us

“This Loss Behind Us” is a sports-themed poetry book containing work from the three winners of SportLiterate‘s 2017 chapbook contest. As the title suggests, cliches tend to accrue any time someone talks or writes about sports. But the poets in “This Loss” avoid that trap, offering insights and perspectives that lean toward the original and the...

The Aversive Clause

Subscribers to literary journals and supports of indie presses know that the short story is enjoying a literary renaissance. The form is alive and well — thriving, actually. We could list dozens of writers currently creating masterful, indelible work. One of these bright young lights is B.C. Edwards, whose debut collection “The Aversive Clause” illustrates...