Essays & Reviews

The Disturbing Comfort of Kirsten Kaschock’s Confessional Sci-Fi, A Primer

by Michelle Lewis
In her book 300 Arguments, Sarah Manguso asserts, “You might as well start by confessing your greatest shame. Anything else would just be exposition.” Kirsten Kaschock’s Confessional Sci-Fi, A Primer pivots on the axis of a confession. Its first section, Oh, Lorraine, is relatively brief, comprised of ten prose paragraphs, grammatically constructed in the future. It begins: “In three years, I will leave my husband, my three boys (aged 11, 8 and nearly 6) to move into the Divine Lorraine Hotel for the three months prior to its scheduled demolition.” The ramifications of this simple fact engine this book’s catastrophic anxiety. Read more…

The Space Between: Inhabiting Kelli Anne Noftle’s Adam Cannot Be Adam

by Michelle Lewis
If you have had the occasion to contemplate the origin of the universe, you have a passing familiarity with Einstein’s theory. Einstein sets the foundation for the Big Bang, the most common explanation for this whole…thing we are living in. The theory, however, has some holes. It doesn’t quite reconcile with quantum theory, the long-held explanation for matter and energy. More at Anomaly…

When I Grow Up I Want To Be a List of Further Possibilities

A review of Chen Chen’s debut poetry collection.

by Michelle Lewis
If your only encounter with Chen Chen is his poem, for i will do/undo what was done/undone to me from Best American Poetry 2016 (published in [PANK]), let me disabuse you of any notion that this poem represents a moment of particularly intensified emotion for the poet. More at DrunkenBoat…


The Vernacular Music of
Aziza Barnes

Barnes’ collection is an innovative, hybridized work that should not be grouped into a single aesthetic.

by Michelle Lewis
On a recent episode of The Poetry Gods, a podcast Aziza Barnes hosts with Jon Sands and José Olivarez, the hosts were asked for their ideas around gatekeeping. They addressed the question in the context of white academic institutions and within more diverse art venues as well. More at Electric Lit

Translate Me & I’ll Kill You

The Apocalyptic Message of Don Mee Choi’s Hardly War.

by Michelle Lewis
Four days after the shooting and subsequent death of Philandro wCastile in Minnesota and the attack on Dallas police officers, the New York Times ran an editorial by Michael Eric Dyson called Death in Black and White accompanied by stills from the video Castile’s girlfriend took to document his shooting. Dyson addresses white people directly. It is pointed, powerful, and difficult to read. Read More at

Two CCM Authors Further a Publisher’s Mission

by Michelle Lewis
Publishing authors whose visceral emotional story-telling looks the human condition squarely in the face is bound to get a little stressful. The refrain of the Civil Coping Mechanisms (CCM) publishing house is “We’re coping,” and it’s indicative of that angsty state…. More…

Scattered by No One

by Michelle Lewis
The Ruthless Otherworld of Grace Shuyi Liew’s Prop Readers, if you order your poetry strictly off the standard menu, Grace Shuyi Liew’s Prop (Ahsahta Press, 2016) is not for you.
More at DrunkenBoat…