My first review with Full Stop is of Farooq Ahmed’s novel, Kansastan (7.13 Books; 2019). The novel recreates Civil War-era Kansas as Muslim society, with most of the action taking place in and around a rural mosque. They’re going to war with Missouri. The narrator is the most narcissistic scrub of all time and the world is out to humiliate him again and again in hilarious fashion. The novel isn’t like anything I’ve read before.
Read my review here at Full Stop.
Get a copy of Kansastan here.
Of all the books I read and reviewed this year, Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué collection of poems, Losing Miami, was my favorite. Like many people, I primarily encounter climate change in numbers – numbers of degrees average temps have increase, number of species lost, number of fires, number of hurricanes, and so on. In Losing Miami, Ojeda-Sagué reminds us of the cultural losses we will soon face. He reminds us that geography is an element of culture and when we lose places, we lose ways of being. Things that can’t be expressed in numbers; things best expressed through poetry.
My review of the collection is on Terrain.org. You can read it here.
Get a copy of Losing Miami from The 5 Accomplices.
Gregorio Tafoya, editor of Little Rose Magazine, read my story in Hobart (Hari Kari) and dug it enough that he invited me to contribute something to his site. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to share my story, Everyday Augury. I found plenty of interesting reads on Little Rose, so check them out.
Everyday Augury takes place in Wal-Mart and involves soothsaying. Hope you dig it.
You can read it here at Little Rose Magazine.
John Englehardt’s Bloomland is a novel about a massacre at a rural college told in second person and focusing on three characters, a student, a professor, and the shooter. This book is not for the weak-hearted. It is a tough read, but Englehardt writes the student, Rose, and the professor, Eddie, so real you feel like you know them beyond the book. They could be you. Eli, the shooter, feels a little more constructed from journalism. Overall, once you get used to almost every pronoun being “you” for an entire novel, this book pulls you in.
This is the last paragraph from my review:
Bloomland is a powerful, ambitious novel that bravely takes on one of the most perplexing, terrifying, and uniquely American phenomena—the school shooting. The novel won the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, a reflection of both craft and thematic relevance. One can only hope future readers will pick up Englehardt’s novel to understand an idiosyncratic period of our history when we abjured our safety and the lives of our children. For now, perhaps Eddie and Rose and their suffering will indict us through empathy so that we work toward a nation where Bloomland is truly fiction.
You can read the whole review on Heavy Feather Review here.
You can buy Bloomland here.
Here’s the author’s website.
Thanks to Hobart (Hobartpulp.com) for publishing my wacky short story, “Hari Kari.” It’s the tale of a man who may repeat his mistakes, but at least he has guts.
You can read it here.
My review for Joe Pan’s poetry collection, Operating Systems (Spork Press, 2019) is up at Heavy Feather Review. I mostly focus on Pan’s long poem that ends the collection, “Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper,” which is awesome.
Read the review from Heavy Feather – https://heavyfeatherreview.org/2019/07/09/pan/
You can purchase Operating Systems from Spork right here – http://shop.sporkpress.com/product/joe-pan-operating-systems/
A friend of mine discovered a nest of rabbits in his yard, so we set up a motion sensor camera and documented the rabbits’ behavior. The mother left them alone most of the day and night, only returning to feed the two kits a few times a day. They grew very quickly and moved nests. Here’s the time lapse video I made from the camera’s still images.
I posted a couple other videos, too. We met this kestrel a few years back at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Finally, I found some footage of a gila monster drinking from Aravaipa Creek north of Tucson.