The Blog

Julian Hoffman’s THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS

Caitlin Keefe Moran

In “Shifting Shadows,” one of the many standout essays in Julian Hoffman’s slim The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World, Hoffman explains the subtitle of his collection succinctly: “To be at home means finding a way of sustaining a keen and watchful engagement as both the place and I change, altering and shifting with the seasons, the light, and passing time.” Hoffman, an Englishman by way of Canada who now lives in Greece, carries this watchful engagement up mountains, through reed beds, and across continents, and what results is a series of thoughtful meditations on the powers of place, of migration and stillness, tradition and adaptation, viewed through the lens of the natural world but never divorced from the human one.

Finally! Jason Ockert's Neighbors of Nothing

TIR staff

Congrats to former contributor Jason Ockert, who has just released his newest collection of short stories, Neighbors of Nothing (Dzanc Books). We haven't read it yet, but if the stories are anything like "Max," which appeared in our Spring 2011 issue and was a finalist for the national Shirley Jackson Award, we can't wait to score a copy.

From DzancBooks.org:

“Like a dissolve in transit”: Self and Motion in Jane Lewty’s BRAVURA COOL

Chris Pusateri

I often think that I would rather be a painter, but I am not. Among those poets working today, Jane Lewty is one who possesses qualities usually ascribed to visual artists. Her debut volume of poetry, Bravura Cool, imports the movements of the gestural into a textual space, and in doing so, reinvents the age-old dictum that there can be “no ideas but in things.”

The things of Lewty’s poetry are things in motion, and like humans themselves, they are best judged by their actions. That is, Lewty’s work is one of Newtonian inertia, but of the active rather than sedentary variety. Unlike the objects of Stein’s Tender Buttons, whose power relied on the force of their presence, Lewty redirects our attention toward the agency of things, how they not only populate but move through the world.

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