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dreams of

dreams can be so physical, in the way of slapstick, wet with embarrassment and always falling over and then in the same breath starkly beautiful. what i like about dreams is that both do and don't belong to me, they belong to the realm of dreams, where the heights of anxieties and the mystique of power battle it out. Perhaps the parts I want to share the most is the moments where the conspiracy of friends wins out over both. — Oki Sogumi

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Featured on January 13, 2020

Futureless Languages

Cynthia Arrieu-King's Futureless Languages is a book about evil kings and leaders, curses, harbingers, languages, mystic translation, elegy, and the Anthropocene. As Ana Božičević points out, it is "a mixed tape of things 'beyond interpretation'. . . King writes a poetry of now that bears out how language already accesses tomorrows: a simple switch of tense changes everything, like the time traveler who butterfly-effects their own birth. While they hold language’s paradoxes, these poems hold the world’s too."

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Featured on January 6, 2020

Andean Nuclear Spring

Agustín Guambo’s Andean Nuclear Spring is a literary artifice that situates us in the heart of the post-apocalypse in Quito. In this nuclear spring, Quito could be any other city in Latin America: a reality populated by plain landscapes, dreams, rhinoceri, the changing direction of wind, ashes and chants passed into the future from one generation to the next. Disparate voices speak: from native quechua to punk songs, they carry parts of a story whose narration describes a moment near us but not quite where we are, mapping, where destruction burrowed its way into our societies. This is an attempt toward faith in our ideologies, identities, cultural backgrounds, and the never-ending presence of love. And — or — it is a Latin American (that is, American) neo-baroque aesthetics of the void, that vast unfilled body like a starry night on the páramo.

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Featured on December 30, 2019

Human Hours

Catherine Barnett’s tragicomic third collection, 'Human Hours', shuttles between a Whitmanian embrace of others and a kind of rapacious solitude. Barnett speaks from the middle of hope and confusion, carrying philosophy into the everyday. Watching a son become a young man, a father become a restless beloved shell, and a country betray its democratic ideals, the speakers try to make sense of such departures. Four lyric essays investigate the essential urge and appeal of questions that are “accursed,” that are limited―and unanswered―by answers. What are we to do with the endangered human hours that remain to us? Across the leaps and swerves of this collection, the fevered mind tries to slow―or at least measure―time with quiet bravura: by counting a lover’s breaths; by remembering a father’s space-age watch; by envisioning the apocalyptic future while bedding down on a hard, cold floor, head resting on a dictionary. Human Hours pulses with the absurd, with humor that accompanies the precariousness of the human condition.

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