Ron Slate's blog

on Do You Believe?: Conversations on God and Religion, by Antonio Monda (Vintage)

Literary people have long provided the most moving, entertaining, and unconventional views of institutionalized religion. Voltaire, famously: “Religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances; it is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind.”

on Hold Everything Dear, essays by John Berger (Pantheon)

In his first novel A Painter of Our Time (1959), John Berger wrote, “We today pause to reflect on whether our severity may be made more severe; and in every one of those pauses the artist faces the same difficulty – it is the difficulty that unites us – the difficulty of making the intangible tangible, of creating a cold form to contain our fervent content.

on Poets and Philosophers: “Bad Blood,” an essay by Leonard Michaels

Commenting in the LA Times on the 2007 publication of The Collected Stories of Leonard Michaels, Lynell George said, “What's still most hypnotizing about Michaels' work isn't just the circumstances of characters coming together or the shock of their collisions; it's also the thrumming violence that occupies a space so close to love.” I was reminded that in 1978 we published

on One Body by Margaret Gibson, Complex Sleep by Tony Tost, and Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone by Janice N. Harrington

Here are three poetry titles published this past year that you may have overlooked or not encountered at all. The succeeding waves of new poetry in April tend to swamp those landed the previous spring and through the year. So I wish these books an extended debut into the new year.

Four additional poetry titles will be discussed in a forthcoming blogpost.


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