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Horsefly Dress

HORSEFLY DRESS is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering, questioning its triggers and ultimate purpose through the lens of historical and contemporary interactions and complications of Séliš, Qĺispé, and Christian beliefs. Heather Cahoon’s collection explores dark truths about the world through first-person experiences, as well as the experiences of her family and larger tribal community. As a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Cahoon crafts poems that recount traditional stories and confront Coyote’s transformation of the world, including his decision to leave certain evils present, such as cruelty, greed, hunger, and death. By weaving together stories of Cahoon’s family and tribal community with those of Coyote and his family, especially Coyote’s daughter, Horsefly Dress, the interactions and shared experiences show the continued relevance of traditional Séliš and Qĺispé culture to contemporary life. Rich in the imagery of autumnal foliage, migrating birds, and frozen landscapes, HORSEFLY DRESS calls forth the sensory experience of grief and transformation. As the stories and poems reveal, the transformative powers associated with the human experience of loss belong to the past, present, and future, as do the traditional Salish-Kalispel stories that create the backbone of this intricate collection.

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Featured on July 26, 2021

Outgoing Vessel

Olsen’s narration shifts from technical incisiveness to slangy humor, orbiting centers of intense hurt

—K. B. Thors, Harvard Review

 

Through the course of OUTGOING VESSEL we witness the speaker’s emergence as a voice of concern, intent on invalidating loneliness—through her outgoing/incoming vessel she comes to a radicalizing understanding of empathy and experience.

—Joseph Schreiber

 

Bios:

Ursula Andkjær Olsen (b. 1970) made her literary debut in 2000 and has since published nine collections of poetry and one novel, in addition to several dramatic texts and libretti for operas such as Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Sol går op, sol går ned, and composer Peter Bruun’s Miki Alone, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2008. Olsen has received numerous awards for her work, including the Danish Arts Foundation’s Award of Distinction in 2017, the 2012 Montanaprisen award for Det 3. årtusindes hjerte (Third-Millennium Heart, Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books 2017), and the 2015 Danish Critics Prize for Literature  for Udgående fartøj (Outgoing Vessel, Action Books 2021). Since 2019, Olsen has served as head of The Danish Academy of Creative Writing. Her latest poetry collection, Mit Smykkeskrin (My Jewel Box, Action Books 2022), was published by Gyldendal in
January 2020.


Katrine Øgaard Jensen (b. 1988) is a writer and translator from the Danish. She is a recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry for her translation of Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s book-length poem, Third-Millennium Heart (Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books 2017). She teaches creative writing and literary translation at Columbia University, where she served as Acting Director of LTAC (Literary Translation at Columbia) from 2019-2020. Her translation of Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s Outgoing Vessel is out now from Action Books.

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Featured on July 19, 2021

Mycelial Person

Mycelial Person was like surrendering into an almost familiar environment; with only a whisper’s guide at my ear, only a collection of spores touching at my hand - like something gooey tracking through the pages.

I’ve never smelled so much in a book.

It doggedly searched for unnoticed, unseen, forgotten patterns, whose shapes rose gently and fell. But it oozed with acceptance: giving away and away and away, each gift collecting and condensing into the making of the story itself.

This book is a mushroom of love.

— Irene Lee

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Featured on July 12, 2021

BINT

Ghinwa Jawhari’s debut collection is a meditation on the Arabic word “bint” (بنت), or “girl.” The girl in these pages attempts to reconcile an American identity as a “mite of the wooden house.” At the onset of her “acned year,” she is “polluted with breasts,” suddenly aware of her body and its reaction to other bodies. In BINT, the “palate succumbs to pleasure-crested pricks” just as the din of tradition continues to conjure “a valley of mirrors.” The thrill of the unknown contrasts with what is taught, contextless and insistent. Through it all, the future is discernible, and glistens on in the smoke, like Beirut’s “blue neon of a prayer bead.”

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