Bukowski in a Sundress – Kim Addonizio
I read a lot of memoirs about the writing life when I was preparing to write Out of Line, but I found Addonizio’s riotous beauty of a book only last week where I find everything good: on the shelves at Jeff Kirby’s poetry store knife/fork/book in Kensington Market. Like her poetry, Addonizio’s prose can be gut-bustingly funny one second and turn on a skateblade in a second for a sharp-eyed examination of agony. I will be thinking about her essay about her family, mental illness, and the legacy of cruelty, called “Simple Christian Charity,” for a long time.
Sit How You Want – Robin Richardson
Walking into Richardson’s intense and muscular book of poems is like walking into the ocean. The book has that much salt and that much horizon. I’ve long admired Richardson’s start-up and editorship of the feminist litmag Minola Review and am taking this book of courageous and incendiary lyric experiments slowly, to make sure I get every word.
The Comedian – Clem Martini
Not everyone knows this, but you heard it here first: I am a lifelong theatre geek. For me, Martini’s novel, narrated by the Roman playwright Plautus, was a special pleasure. Martini is a theatre scholar and playwright, and he’s a novelist of the first order. The love with which he paints this insider’s look at the production of a comedy (complete with plenty of mishaps) in a Rome scored by militarism and violence had the best qualities of historical fiction: timely in appearance and nimble in execution.
Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo