Marginalia: Journal Prompts (August)

As the physical environment around us changes, so do our moods and thoughts. We cannot help but pause to take notice, no matter how briefly. Let's use this month's prompts to think about the four seasons and the weather in general. Most of the questions ask for descriptions. Make sure to use all your senses and imagination as you do so. The goal is to freewrite as much as you can so you can unearth some gems to then polish further into more definite works as you choose.

Published: On Roxane Gay’s Republished Short Stories ‘Ayiti’ (PopMatters)

My review of Roxane Gay's short story collection, Ayiti, is up at PopMatters. There's something subversively bullish about a debut short story collection that's first published by a small indie press mostly unknown to the larger reading and publishing world and then, when the writer goes on to prove her chops in various genres, is re-published by a larger publishing house. Same book (with just a few changes), same writer. Which only goes to show how unreliable and short-sighted the many tastemakers and gatekeepers of the publishing industry can be.

Published: Nowhere Is a Place in Tatyana Tolstaya’s ‘Aetherial Worlds’ (PopMatters)

My review of Tatyana Tolstaya's striking new short story collection, Aetherial Worlds, out earlier this year, is up at PopMatters. Tolstaya is a leading Russian writer with a well-known literary ancestry. The book has been wonderfully translated by Anya Migdal. This is a striking collection because of how the stories merge past and present with fantasy through auto-fiction, essays, and allegorical tales.