summer reads


Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s SUMMER READS

SJL author

Today Sueyeun Juliette Lee shares some of her summer reads:


WCE_Cover-9-200x265We Come Elemental by Tamiko Beyer (Alice James Books, 2013)

I’m very excited about this text. A queer ecopoetical exploration of landscape and being, of bodies and transformations all set in relation. I’m very interested in these ideas, in how we collaborate with our environments…how our bodies are practices set loose among a landscape that is constantly being iterated with us.

I think Tamiko is a FREAKING GREAT poet and someone I’ve had my eyes on for a while. She actually once submitted a short manuscript for Corollary, and it got snatched up elsewhere!! That’s what happens when I move at glacial speed. Sigh. But I’m super excited her work is getting more attention. She’s a major player!!!




416RLhQcjhL._SY300_ 9780826493620_p0_v1_s260x420Impressions of Africa by Raymond Roussel and Death and the Labryinth by Michel Foucault

An old friend of mine used to LOVE Roussel. I resisted reading him for a long time, and I’ve dipped in and out, but I’m ready to make a little study. I’m stymied by the fact that I don’t read/speak French, and I think to really appreciate all of Roussel’s language games, you have to have a nuanced understanding of French syntax and vocabulary. That said, I think the dissonance in reading Roussel in English will still be of interest, and having Foucault’s study of Roussel’s writing strategies can help illuminate some of the conceptual parameters and frameworks Roussel was working in.

I’m not someone who uses much language “play,” per se in my work, but it’s something I’m of course very interested in. What writer isn’t?!?! Some of my friends and former classmates write this way–I’m thinking of Lawrence Giffin and Steve Zultanski. And they do it so elegantly–with wit, irreverence, but also devastation there, too. A quick plug–Zultanski’s Agony (BookThug) and Giffin’s Christian Name (Ugly Duckling) are AWESOME and so devastating in their own ways. I was surprised by the depth of feeling these works actually evoked in me.



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June 6th, 2013 / 11:00 am


Joe Milazzo’s SUMMER READS

Summer reading picks from Joe Milazzo:


ABookBeginningWhatA Book Beginning What and Ending Away by Clark Coolidge (Fence Books, 2013)

Partly out of excitement to have this work restored to print; Coolidge is neither understood nor celebrated enough as a prosodist, or, if you prefer, prose thinker, à la Stein (I know this mostly from his writings on jazz / improvised music); the book itself just long and packed / impacted enough to occupy a season.

Randomly selected excerpt: “Door only to be taken in. Mingles into the corner as it comes. Enough, and green, and by and large, were familiar.”






lawless_mydeadMy Dead by Amy Lawless (Octopus, 2013)

Have you seen the table of contents? The volume opens with 8 individual poems, all entitled “One Way to Write a Sonnet Is To Number the Lines.” This appeals to me, and aligns with my own formal / lyrical interests.

Randomly selected excerpt: “Night is ugly as all the other shit / I just mentioned”




15647100688120LAm I A Redundant Human Being? by Mela Hartwig (Dalkey Archive, 2010)

I picked this up at the open of the year courtesy Dalkey’s annual sale, but have not yet been able to see if the book itself satisfies the expectations (high-ish… is this Madame Bovary without the self-delusion, an early negation of the novel [an imitation of Arthur Schnitzler tangenting itself into anticipations of Tao Lin], or a Modernist self-help manual?) I have for it based on the title.

Randomly selected excerpt: “Of course, his obvious attraction flattered me. But, then again, maybe it didn’t.”






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June 5th, 2013 / 11:00 am


Debra Di Blasi’s SUMMER READS

Debra Di Blasi

Debra Di Blasi’s summer reading recommendations:


9780393073775_198The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates, by Frans De Waal (Norton, 2013)

The most recent book by hands-on primatologist de Waal once again successfully argues that the study of primatology is not how apes behave like humans, but how humans behave like apes.







9780465033294_p0_v1_s260x420Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, by George Church and Ed Regis (Basic Books, 2012)

Predicts how current and future biological research will lead to transhumanism, genetic regeneration and mutation, and living products that reproduce and redesign themselves. The eugenics potential would make Adolf Hitler proud.






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June 4th, 2013 / 11:00 am


Michael J Seidlinger’s SUMMER READS

SUMMER READS: Starting today and over the course of the next couple weeks, I’ll be posting some summer reading recommendations by various writers.

I asked the writers to recommend a few books for summer reading, or to talk about some books they’re particularly looking forward to delving into this summer.

First up, some great picks from Michael J Seidlinger:


starkweather_front_final_cropThe First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather by Sampson Starkweather (Birds LLC, 2013)

I only recently discovered this guy’s poetry and I am truly kicking myself for it. His poems weave together humor and pop culture references. The book is 328 pages of I-have-no-idea-what-to-expect but if it’s anything like what I’ve read at Typo Magazine and other journals, there’s a lot of good in this three hundred page book.

And that name. Mannnnnnn… now I’m in the mood for a good film noir. Someone recommend me a good film noir.



61TLRRxzABL._SY300_Maximum Minimum Wage by Bob Fingerman (Image Comics, 2013)

Seemingly people have more time to read in the summer but, for me, I tend to find that the opposite is true. Therefore you’ve got to love the existence of graphic novels. Much like a movie, the average graphic novel only asks the reader for an hour or two.

With Fingerman’s “Maximum Minimum Wage,” we see through the eyes of Rob Hoffman, a cartoonist working on smut rags to pay the bills, as he, alongside his girlfriend, Sylvia, go about the apathy of their oddly relatable lives. It looks like Fingerman’s series channels other comix writers like Daniel Clowes and Brian Wood. During the heated summer months, I tend to go for narratives that point at the bleakness of modern life with a lot of sarcasm and, as the back cover blurb states, “cringe humor.”




June 3rd, 2013 / 11:00 am