Ron Slate's blog

on Anybody, poems by Ari Banias (W.W. Norton)

Poetry is sparking with the urgency to expose the ways in which historical, cultural, physiological, and personal meanings impinge on our use of language.

on Good Vibrations by Mike Love (Blue Rider Press) and I Am Brian Wilson by Brian Wilson (Da Capo)

There are at least two audiences for the new autobiographies by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. The first comprises Boomers who still buy tickets to hear the aged Beach Boys sing “California Girls” and want to linger over their idols. The second group ruminates over the Beach Boys’ significance and puzzling discography.

on The Opposite of Light, poems by Kimberly Grey (Persea Books)

We are archaic -- in our sources, impulses, outreaches and aloneness. They say dogs have stereo olfaction -- they can smell two things at once through independent nostrils. Some poets have dual sensors, too – one for the triggering situation, one for the archaic presence within it.

on Mutants, selected essays by Toby Litt (Seagull Books)

“Literary Fiction is Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” writes Toby Litt, “without being spun round and round, and without the blindfold.” And that’s just for starters. In Litt’s world, you either advocate for the disruptive power of literature or are its misguided adversary. He adds, “Literature makes you realize that you are not an established fact.”

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