Volume 59, Issue 2
FRONT COVER by Panteha Abareshi, Roses and Thorns 2017. INDIA INK, PEN, PENCIL, WATERCOLOR, WHITE INK, BRUSH MARKER. Courtesy of the artist.Order a copy now
The Massachusetts Review is thrilled to announce the following new and forthcoming releases from the poets and writers who have helped ensure that MR publishes the best in contemporary voices, here and abroad. Congratulations to all! (To purchase back issues of MR, click here.)
Doug Anderson’s (Vol. 56, Issue 1, 2015) latest book
of poems, Horse Medicine, will be available April 2015 from Barrow Street.
Jane Bugaeva’s (Vol. 56, Issue 1, Spring 2015) first book-length translation, Catlantis by Anna Starobinets, is forthcoming from Pushkin Press.
Andrew Fox’s (Vol. 53, Issue 4, Winter 2013) story collection, available through Penguin Ireland, is called Over Our Heads.
“Over Our Heads follows the Irish in the United States, Americans in Ireland, characters finding their feet – or not – on foreign soil […] Originally from Dublin, Fox now lives in New York, and these two cities form the backdrop for most of the collection. The author has previously had work published in the Dublin Review and the Stinging Fly. His stories are insightful, well paced and observational. They give snapshots of lives unlived or half-lived. There are no neat endings, sometimes no endings at all. The rootlessness is contrasted with a strong sense of place. From lounges on Dawson Street to the tow bridges of the Grand Canal to the sand dunes of Balbriggan, old haunts are painted anew.”—Sarah Gilmartin, The Irish Times
Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, a poetry collection by Ross Gay (Vol. 53, Issue 1, Spring 2012) was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Gay was the 2013 winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize for "Ode to Sleeping in my Clothes."
“Ross Gay offers up a muscled poetry of a thousand surprises, giving us a powerful collection that fireworks even the bleakest nights with ardency and grace. Few contemporary poets risk singing such a singular compassion for the wounded world with this kind of inimitable musicality, intelligence, and intoxicating joy.” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Gabriella Ghermandi’s (Vol. 55, Issue 4, Winter 2014) novel, Queen of Flowers and Pearls, was published in English February 2015.
“Ghermandi's patient, rhapsodic compilation reflects Mahlet's own struggle with her identity as an Ethiopian and, when she relocates to Italy for her education, as a foreigner. The prose blends Italian and Amharic honorifics seamlessly, and the author's complex study of family life during the Italian colonization, the military junta headed by violent dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam and the chaos following liberation in 1991 shape Mahlet's understanding of the bonds between generations and the connections between the past and the present. This singular coming-of-age story defined by political upheaval and ancestral secrets introduces a sensitive, perceptive storyteller on the brink of womanhood.” —Kirkus Reviews
MR contributor and supporter Bruce Laurie's new book, Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists, is now available from UMass Press.
"A lively, lucid, and eminently readable study. Succinctly but in well-judged detail, Bruce Laurie tells the story of antebellum abolitionism through biographies of some of the movement's prominent local figures in Northampton, Massachusetts." —Christopher Clark
Philip Metres’s (Vol. 55, Issue 2, Summer 2014) poetry collection Sand Opera, winner of the 2013 Beatrice Hawley Award, has been published by Alice James Books. Metres was the winner of the 2012 Anne Halley Poetry Prize for "Home/Front."
“Phil Metres transforms our prostrate sorrow and gracious rage against the banal evil of the administered world into aria and opera. The architecture of horror is brought down to its knees. In Sand Opera we encounter the poet’s inventive vision of art, and also his unforgettable tenderness: his songs to the world of children and to the children of the world. Would Abu Ghraib be possible were we able to truly love our kids? Metres is not interested in the unanswerable. His love speaks for itself.” —Fady Joudah
Souvenir, a collection of autobiographical essays by Kathryn Rhett (Vol. 42, Issue 2, Summer 2001), is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press.
“Souvenir, a collection of autobiographical essays rooted in the present, investigates travel, staying put, and how it is that our experience of being here right now includes so much of being elsewhere at another time. Rhett reconciles present to past in serious encounters with birth and death, alongside lighter observations. In a world that makes no sense except the sense we make of it, Souvenir plays with the dynamics of home and away to represent the fullness of daily life.” —Carnagie Mellon University Press
Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s (Vol. 56, Issue 1, Spring 2015) debut poetry collection, The Verging Cities (Center for Literary Publishing), is forthcoming March 2015, as part of The Moutain West Poetry Series, distributed by University Press of Colorado.
Split the Crow, the second poetry collection by Sarah Sousa (Vol. 55, Issue 3, Fall 2014), winner of the our 2015 Anne Halley Prize (“Her Moods Caused Owls”), was published January 2015 by Free Verse Editions from Parlor Press.
“Something magical happens in these pages—we are waked from forgetfulness and are pulled into a living history that revives us and spares us nothing. The reader demands: ‘we want /what is real, don't deny us’ and Sousa does not disappoint. In exploring the narrative of Mary Rowlandson, Split the Crow employs lyric to stop time, draw it close, and inspect it on its own terms without being either pedantic or patronizing. Sousa bares essential truths of our young country; we have struggled all along defining ourselves by othering. In spite of this, Split the Crow shows all that is human is transitive. I had been dying to read this book until I read it; I did not know what I lacked until I was sated.” —T.J. Jarrett
Mbarek Sryfi (Vol. 55, Issue 4, Winter 2014) published two books in translation with Syracuse University Press in 2014, a collection of short stories, Monarch of the Square, by Mohammed Zefzaf and Arabs and the Art of Storytelling, by Abdelfattah Kilito, a modern critical reappraisal of traditional Arab narratives.
“The translation remains faithful to the original while at the same time it preserves a certain local color, an accent of sorts that conveys the Moroccan flavors of the stories. This anthology helps to fill a huge gap in the library of Arabic literature in translation.” —William Granara, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
Time Ages in a Hurry by Antonio Tabucchi and translated from the Italian by Marha Cooley and Antonio Romani, has been published by Acchipelago Books. MR published an excerpt from this novel in Vol. 55, Issue 4, Fall 2014.
"A pensive, beautifully written meditation on personhood and nationhood in the new age of European unity. . . many of the characters in this joined collection—sometihng more than short stories, but not quite a novel—are stateless and uprooted, they come from somewhere else, and they're never quite at home where they are." —Kirkus Reviews
Plash & Leviathan, the Permafrost Award-winning collection from Adam Tavel (Vol. 54, Issue 3, Autumn 2013), is available now from the University of Alaska Press.
“These poems fit high diction to low—Latin hex to Lego Vader—in a rich collage, seamlessly constructed. Actual, mythic, pop, personal, speculative, all work together to leave no vacancy, no hunger. Adam Tavel’s poems are the satisfaction.” —Heid E. Erdrich, judge of the Permafrost Book Prize in Poetry
Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles, winner of the 2014 Open Book competition of Cleveland State University Press, is out now from Lee Upton (Vol. 55, Issue 1, Spring 2014).
"Lee Upton is a poet of rare intelligence and craft. She has a cold eye and a warm heart, and her poems are well-made, moving, intellectually stimulating. ... These are poems to read, reread, and ponder. The rich heritage of English poetry—Herrick, Keats, Poe, Dickinson, Wallace Stevens—hovers over Upton's labors and adds an extra layer of wit for the discerning reader."—David Lehman