The Blog

Richard Siken's WAR OF THE FOXES

Lisa Butts

Richard Siken's second collection, coming a decade after his Yale Younger Poets prize-winning debut Crush, finds the poet a subdued man with more mature preoccupations. The erotic energy and dazzling infatuation that drove Crush are replaced in War of the Foxes with frustrations about the impossibility of creating pure and true artistic representations. Siken sets this conversation in motion from the book's opening line: “The paint doesn't move the way the light reflects, / so what's there to be faithful to?” The trappings of aesthetics are insufficient: “It should be enough. To make something / beautiful should be enough. It isn't.” 

Human Rights Index #43: European Union Migration

TIR staff

The Human Rights Index is prepared three times a year by the University of Iowa Center for Human RightsThe Iowa Review is proud to feature the Index on our website, to suggest the global political and socioeconomic context within which we read and write.

Human Rights Index #43

Prepared by The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR)*

Mark Wisniewski’s WATCH ME GO

Jack Smith

Watch Me Go establishes Mark Wisniewski as a writer who moves adeptly from the light to the dark, from the quirky, sometimes bizarre comic story to the eerie, unsettling thriller. His previous work—most notably Show Up, Look Good; Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman; and All Weekend with the Lights On—contains dark undercurrents suggestive of human frailty, corruption, and evil; in Watch Me Go, Wisniewski's third novel, the darker element dominates throughout. 

Dorothea Lasky's ROME

Alana Folsom

Dorothea Lasky's Rome begins with lines not from Ovid or Horace, but with Yeats: “Consume my heart away; sick with desire / and fastened to a dying animal…”; and Lasky’s poems adhere, on a subject level, to this epigraph. But Rome is a book about language and voice more than its subject matter: the carnality of humanity when we’re reduced to raw emotion—especially love and loss, which burn hot at the core of the book. Rome instead foregrounds diction and syntax, thereby asking its readers to pay attention not to the subjects themselves but to the ways in which those subjects are communicated. Lasky’s techniques are surprising if not outright shocking.


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