on Orexia, poems by Lisa Russ Spaar (Persea)

Lisa Russ Spaar’s seventh collection Orexia creates the aura of a world bound up in unrelieved tension so exquisitely balanced that it is beautiful. If the poem can be made, it may embody the balance as a sort of proof. Balance isn’t resolution. Uncertainty has a certain weight, so does a vision; the blunt or stunning facts of the seen have a counterweight.


on As Lie Is To Grin, a novel by Simeon Marsalis (Catapult)

Simeon Marsalis’ debut novel, As Lie Is To Grin, is told in the voice and writings of David, an African-American freshman at the University of Vermont in the fall of 2010. He makes an appointment to see a psychologist at school: “I felt like a boy in a man’s body.

on Art Can Help by Robert Adams (Yale University Press)

In 2011, the Yale University Art Gallery published The Place We Live, a three-volume retrospective of Robert Adams’ photography. In a brief introduction, Adams begins by quoting three poets.

on New Music Titles by Jas Obrecht, Will Friedwald, Fred Hersch, and Lilian Terry

This year has been rich with engaging, insightful music titles – Ben Ratliff’s Every Song Ever, Robbie Robertson’s Testimony, Ted Gioia’s How To Listen to Jazz, David Yaffe’s Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, Elaine Hayes’ Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan, and Anthony DeCurtis’ Lou Reed: A Life come

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