The Blog


Mitch Nakaue

“When but a child, I learned that our ancestors came out of the trees, stood upright on the savannahs, and became human.” So begins John Leland’s essay collection Readings in Wood. A nature writer, Leland makes his home in the southern Appalachian mountains of Rockbridge County, Virginia, a region known for its wilderness and as a repository of American history dating back to the Revolution. Against this backdrop, each piece interrogates what it means to be wild or domesticated, native or transplant, deliverer or destroyer. 

Giving Tradition a Facelift: An Exploration of Richie Hofmann’s SECOND EMPIRE

Peter LaBerge

“Standing at the water’s edge, I watch myself / loosen into a brief, exquisite blur.” Though we begin our journey through Richie Hofmann’s stunning debut poetry collection Second Empire with the freedom to move and self-express, it is a destination of sorts for Hofmann himself. The collection functions as a deeply personal glimpse into the immediate and long-term effects of the tension Hofmann experienced growing up as a queer man in Western society: tension between security and connection, beauty and fragility, tradition and identity. The collection as a whole is far from sole introspection, however.

Geoffrey O'Brien's IN A MIST

John Tamplin

Geoffrey O'Brien's poems are full of things vanishing. The first three poems in his new book, In a Mist, appear to be elegies for vanished people. "For S." concludes:

A wisp is too harsh.
At mere hint of sight
all parts of you
drop into the glare. 

 "A Yard at Daybreak" ends:

The shop is shuttered
and the yard so quiet
you can hear the noise
of shadows vanishing.


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