New from Tarpaulin Sky Press, June 2020: In 2013, poet Lauren Russell acquired a copy of the diary of her great-great-grandfather, Robert Wallace Hubert, a Captain in the Confederate Army. After his return from the Civil War, he fathered twenty children by three of his former slaves. One of those children was the poet’s great-grandmother. Through several years of research, Russell would seek the words to fill the diary's omissions and to imagine the voice of her great-great-grandmother, Peggy Hubert, a black woman silenced by history. The result is a hybrid work of verse, prose, images and documents that traverses centuries as the past bleeds into the present. “A search for truths felt in one’s bones.” (Brenda Coultas) "An audacious, acid, lyrical re-membering.... Russell speaks to us. Sit all the way down and listen up.” (Douglas Kearney) “Sifting nimbly through all manner of documentation and employing form in revelatory ways, Russell’s poems are as much ascent—into a present shaped by the past—as descent from America’s true heroic figures.” (John Keene)
New from Tarpaulin Sky Press, June 2020: Julia Brennan’s debut novel, Hunting Season, is part auto-fiction, part lyric essay, part lament, part film journal, part performance, and part exorcism. Challenging traditional victim/perpetrator narratives, Hunting Season is an intimate investigation into the ways we learn to love and wound. “A kind of fortress: elaborately constructed, designed to protect and to withstand the dangers that are everywhere around us. An imaginative, frightening and heartbreaking tour de force.” (Carole Maso) “You never know when her rifle will go off, leaving you bruised, cut in halves or quarters, or heartbroken. Hunting Season is ‘a slow amputation’ of love, film, disaster, agony, tamed or nonchalant sadomasochism and sexual fantasies.... Come here and let her destroy you. Tenderly.” (Vi Khi Nao)
New from Tarpaulin Sky Press, June 2020: "I was thrilled and moved by this wild book, which moves from an explosive rejection of narrative to the creation of a theater of home, that shabby, beautiful structure built with girly hope, our fortification against loss." (Suzanne Scanlon) "With Womonster, Olivia Cronk shows that we are other people as much as we are our various selves. We are the people who share our lives; we are our loved ones and our aggressors. If this makes us monsters, then everyone's a monster." (Jay Besemer) "Womonster is both a hyper-abject soap opera of beige underwear, dusty crystal, sinks full of bloodied dishes, and a redemptive horror story about the power of becoming the monster." (Laura Ellen Joyce) "Olivia Cronk is one of my favorite US poets over the past 15 years" (Johannes Göransson)
New from Tarpaulin Sky Press, June 2020: "This slim journal contains multitudes. It’s a compulsively readable account of returning to a childhood home, a provocative meditation on artists such as Susan Sontag, Francesca Woodman, and Andrei Tarkovsky, and a radical reexamination of concepts like ruin porn, tourism, and translation. But mostly it’s an urgent manifesto. Göransson concludes: "This is written without hope." But paradoxically, Poetry Against All offers just that." (Jeff Jackson) "Moralists who find themselves clutching their pearls about this book of noir perversions should read less literally and see that Göransson's Poetry Against All -- for all its anti-libidinous interrogations of pornography, the Holocaust, and cadavers -- concerns some of the most relatably humanist emotions of all: grief, the meaning of home, and the protectiveness one has about one’s children. Göransson imagines pornography as the body at the edge of otherness, at once alluring and perverse, which is not unlike the lens through which he conceives his own role as immigrant, the contaminant in our body politic, alive to the sheer horror of America but never quite able to go home himself." (Ken Chen)
(2018 UPDATE: How wrong I was, and how right. This story keeps on writing itself and getting more horrific by the page. Jesse committed suicide in the Autumn of 2018. His blood is not only on the hands of his own parents, but on the hands of every Connecticut State social worker, police officer, and attorney who has continued to enable these monstrous lies. I can only hope the Innocence Project finds a way to make the wheels of justice turn more quickly, before more lives are destroyed.)
Leaving aside as well the predilections of, and the misinformation supplied by, local newspapers and local authorities in West Memphis, there's no doubt the crime scene was easily interpreted as suggesting a sexual component to the murders. But I would also suggest that the investigation went far afield not because of the sex-crime angle, but because of the perceived homo-sexual violence of the crimes. For the literal-minded/illiterate in West Memphis the fantasy of a consummate breed of homosexual male violence carried at least as much Biblical fear/hatred as that text's injunctions against occult arts, and was every bit as potent as the Satanic Panic among West Memphis jurors in 1993....
The Sacramento County, CA, District Attorney’s Office announces it will no longer review officer-involved shootings — at the same time that the county Sheriff’s Department reduces firearm training. Fourteen officer-involved shootings follow. In the first weeks of 2012 alone, police shootings break records for prior years: six in total; two dead and three injured. The most recent victim, Lamont Harmon, was unarmed, walking to his mother’s house.
If there was any witchcraft in the courtroom on Monday the 26th, it was being practiced by a prosecutor. In what appears to have been an effort to spellbind the jury and the press, that they might forget pesky issues such as the absence of actual evidence implicating Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, attorney Francesco Maresca decided to try some black magic of his own....