Category: Writing

Peter Werbe’s “Eat the Rich & Other Interesting Ideas”

For more than forty years one of our favorite writers, Detroit-based Peter Werbe, has been publishing provocative essays about capitalism, technology, religion, politics, and popular culture in the anarchist journal The Fifth Estate, where he’s long been an indispensable member of the editorial collective. Some of his best work is now organized in a compulsively readable...

Michael Hemmingson’s “Pictures of Houses with Water Damage”

“Pictures of Houses with Water Damage,” a collection of very short stories by the  late poet and novelist Michael Hemmingson, crossed our transom more than a dozen years after its original 2010 publication. Seldom has an author’s distinctive voice spoken so directly to our sense of humor and sense of pathos. Filled with characters experiencing...

Notes from the Road

In Notes from the Road, the debut book from Mike Ingram, a writing professor from Philadelphia makes a week-long car trip across America, where he finds space to reflect on his middle-aged life — and Life. (And America, and writing, and everything else.) Heavy, right? While the book possesses the gravity of serious reflection, it’s actually...

Source Notes: Seventh Decade

The latest poetry collection from prolific author Heather Tosteson, Source Notes: Seventh Decade, is one of those treasured books one finishes and begins to read again. At turns searching and assured, troubled and contented, the poems here range from the deeply personal — including terrible trauma and recovery — to the universally felt. Ostensibly a meditation...

MichaelKohlhaas.org

If you have the stomach for in-depth reporting on corruption in Los Angeles — at City Hall, on the City Council, the police force, everywhere there’s money and power — the citizen journalist Michael Kohlhaas is a necessary read. Just like old-fashioned investigative reporters used to do before being co-opted by papers uninterested in offending...

Mercy

Exploring the fascinating (and disturbing) connection between an obsession with “true crime” television and one chronically ill woman’s serial surgeries and medical emergencies, Marcia Trahan’s bravely honest memoir Mercy compels readers to consider the omnipresent violence — both literal and figurative — visited upon women’s bodies. Not a jolly subject, right? Surprisingly, Trahan’s telling of her...

Announcement: Why You’ll Be Hearing Less from Me

Today I’m delighted to announce my semi-retirement from writing. It’s been more than 30 years I’ve been doing this professionally, 20 years since my first book. Now it’s time to do something else. For the people who care about my work, don’t worry. Writing will continue. These essay Thoughts will continue (probably) to be published...

Valerie Fox’s “Insomniatic”

Half way through Valerie Fox’s sensational poetry chapbook “Insomniatic,” it dawned on me that her poems are funny — effortlessly. They’re not jokey or gimmicky, so why all the deep humor? Because they’re remarkably real, and each person’s version of reality is usually the darkest and brightest comedy of all. Fox’s work has an undercurrent of...

The World As It Is

We don’t normally feature in this space books that are more than five years old. But “The World As it Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress” seems to us a most necessary read in these preposterous times. Authored by the brilliant journalist, social justice advocate and cultural critic Chris Hedges, “The World” is...

Tyrese Coleman’s “How to Sit”

Offered as a “memoir in stories and essays,” the debut book from Tyrese Coleman, “How to Sit,” blurs the lines between genres and categories, focusing, instead, on searingly honest recollection of a childhood — and a life — shaped by unreliable women and predatory men. Coleman’s prose is spare, direct, powerful. “I am the product...