Book Review: Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Trethewey’s memoir recounts her life with her mother and her odyssey to understand her mother’s murder at the hands of her stepfather. It is an exploration of memory and of the narratives we tell about our lives to make some senseContinue reading “Book Review: Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey”

Book Review: When you Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen

When You Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Kendra Allen’s essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet is an important collection of essays on race in America. Allen writes in several forms, ranging from memoir, to lyric essay, to poetry. What I admire most about these essays is Allen’sContinue reading “Book Review: When you Learn the Alphabet by Kendra Allen”

Book Review: Biloxi by Mary Miller

Biloxi by Mary Miller My rating: 5 of 5 stars Disclaimer: Mary Miller is my colleague in The W’s MFA program in Creative Writing. I’m a big fan of her work. Biloxi is a hilarious read, though it’s not laugh-out-lout funny, outlandish, or bawdy. Mary Miller’s humor, to my mind, consists more of taking wry,Continue reading “Book Review: Biloxi by Mary Miller”

Writing for New Media

Many things about The W’s new low-residency MFA in creative writing get me excited, especially communicating with prospective students, but lately the most exciting part has been putting together a fall schedule. That is still very much in flux and will depend on the needs and desires of the students who actually apply — as I’ve toldContinue reading “Writing for New Media”

Book Review: Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury

Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury My rating: 5 of 5 stars As the title poem announces, “Sometimes what is needed comes to hand.” These poems are both needed and close at hand. Amy Fleury’s voice is never overly intellectual, never too familiar. These poems are calm and contemplative, yet they bring necessary images to life,Continue reading “Book Review: Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury”

Book Review: The Secret of Magic, Deborah Johnson

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Secret of Magic is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Inspired by a true case of a WWII serviceman who was singled out and arrested on a bus in the North Carolina, then brutally abused while in custody for insisting on his mostContinue reading “Book Review: The Secret of Magic, Deborah Johnson”

Review of Rivers by Michael Farris Smith

Rivers by Michael Farris Smith My rating: 5 of 5 stars First the disclaimer: Michael Farris Smith is my colleague in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women. Of course, I’m going to like his book! However, even I was surprised by it. Not that I would expect anything less than a good read, butContinue reading “Review of Rivers by Michael Farris Smith”

Review: The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos

My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s so much I don’t want to say about this book, since it would give away not just the ending but the surprise at every page turn. You don’t keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. You keep wondering, how many shoes can there possibly be? This bookContinue reading “Review: The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos”

A Great Summer Read

One Last Good Time  by Michael Kardos I love the dark humor in these stories. The book is a linked short story collection in which the stories that have returning characters comment on each other and further develop the characters, though the collection does not read like a novel. Each story stands on its own, yetContinue reading “A Great Summer Read”