7 Reads We Recommend

7 Reads We Recommend

Image via Flickr by Jonathan Thorne

Image via Flickr by Jonathan Thorne

  1. You Might Have Been My Brother…” by Tang Danhong in The Common

Filled with visceral imagery, this poem could be a mural—painted with feathers, yet purpose driven to the end. Tang Danhong writes with a real romantic spirit, but is not naïve. Superb. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

2. “Animal Passion” by Tanis McDonald in The Puritan 

Nature imagery in poetry is frequently overdone and tired; however, McDonald takes it and runs with it in a brand new way. Her forceful imagery hits the reader in the face in the best kind of way. The world decays before your eyes within the piece, but then, oddly enough, comes back together in the quite beautiful final line of “You could be a tear.”  ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

3. “Notes on Binary Gender” by Lara Lillibridge in Weirderary

I’m intrigued by new presentations in storytelling, and this writer creates a mood here that I find quite effective. This creative nonfiction is like a call and response song as Lillibridge personally reacts to scientific statements. Sources of the facts notwithstanding, the piece unfolds as enlightenment on an individual’s take on binary gender that is complex and private, yet freeing to read. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

4. “First, My Brother” by Nancy Chen Long in Diagram 

Long plays with form, religious allusions, and language in many different ways in her poem “First, My Brother.” Though serious in nature, the form gives it a playful, almost teasing tone. It toys with the reader, making her think further into the religious allusions beyond what appears on the surface.  ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

5. “Ode, Her” by Knar Gavin in Pouch Magazine

Gavin does some really interesting things with midword enjambment in her poem. You feel yourself being flattened with the poem by the neighbor-moms with their irons as the words cut off and the lines get shorter, until you swing your legs out and break the pattern, making the lines long again. Physical movement paired with the destruction and rebuilding of words play well together in this piece to create an incredibly intriguing poem.  ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

6. “The Mermaid Effect” by Steven Wiley in Poydras Review

Steven’s style and cadence pulled me into the story of this unique protagonist right away. At times horrified, and then surprisingly amused at various points in the plot line, I was left yearning for more of Lucy’s carnival-esque world. His voice throughout the duration of the piece is consistent, evocative, and full of friction. This is a mermaid story if it was unleashed by Salvador Dali. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

7. “Beginning a Journey: Finding Edward Abbey” by Sean Prentiss in Terrain

This selection is a prologue for Sean’s book, Finding Abbey. He speaks beautifully of journey, mystery, and how the natural world is a consistent teacher as we stumble through our own personal deserts. He raises the question, “Can a person precisely point, as if on a map, to the origin of a true transformative journey? Is there any proper beginning?” It is a very powerful piece of creative nonfiction with a subtle, yet clear voice written with a sensitivity of one who truly loves the land, tripping rocks and all. ~ Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

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