Review: So You Know It’s Me

The Reviewed: So You Know It’s Me by Brian Oliu The Reviewer: Judy Clement Wall *** Ten reasons why I loved Brian Oliu’s So You Know It’s Me:  1. I ordered it from Tiny Hardcore Press, and it’s so tiny, it fits in the pocket of my skinniest jeans. That’s not a requirement for a book, of course, but it is cool. 2. […]

Review: Pretty Tilt

The Reviewed: Pretty Tilt by Carrie Murphy The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers ***  Carrie Murphy’s first full-length poetry collection, Pretty Tilt, is everything I have always wanted poetry to be but have had difficulty finding. I kind of just don’t like poetry; that’s nothing against poets or the work that they do, I’ve just never been able to […]

Review: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures

The Reviewed: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** There is a scene late in Emma Straub’s debut novel, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, where forgotten starlet Laura Lamont thinks of how much she misses the circle of lights on her dressing room mirror, the lights that surrounded her face and […]

Review: Last Call in the City of Bridges

The Reviewed: Last Call in the City of Bridges by Salvatore Pane The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** Pittsburgh is obviously the best city in the world, and Salvatore Pane’s debut novel, Last Call in the City of Bridges, speaks right to my yinzer-lovin’ soul. The imagery is spot-on: there is the Squirrel Hill tunnel that opens […]

Review: Watch the Doors As They Close

The Reviewed: Watch the Doors As They Close by Karen Lillis The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** Karen Lillis’ novella, Watch the Doors As They Close, is the kind of story you want to read when there is a window of time you need to fill for a bit, preferably an hour or two. I read it in one […]

Review: Dora: A Headcase

The Reviewed: Dora: A Headcase by Lidia Yuknavitch The Reviewer: Judy Clement Wall *** Last year, in a post titled “Writing Brave,” I referenced Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water. I wrote that I loved it “for its determination to look squarely at the wreckage of a truly broken heart and not make it pretty or poetic […]

Review: The Map of the System of Human Knowledge

The Reviewed: The Map of the System of Human Knowledge by James Tadd Adcox The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** Is the beauty of the human brain the fact that we don’t know everything? Or is it the potential for us to know it all? James Tadd Adcox tackles those questions and many more that consider […]

Review: The Body is a Little Gilded Cage

  The Reviewed: The Body is a Little Gilded Cage by Kristina Marie Darling The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** The delicacy of the poems in Kristina Marie Darling’s collection, The Body is a Little Gilded Cage, is really quite astounding. Opening in seven sections titled “City Walk,” “Soiree,” and “Aviary,” and then leading into appendices and footnotes […]

Review: Steal Me For Your Stories

The Reviewed: Steal Me For Your Stories by Robb Todd The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** There was a quote in a recent Lawrence Welk skit on Saturday Night Live that said something like, “Isn’t love beautiful when it’s gross?” I’m bringing this up because I believe it aptly describes Rob Todd’s nauseatingly wonderful story collection […]

Review: Shut Up/Look Pretty

The Reviewed: Shut Up/Look Pretty by Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michelle Reale, and Amber Sparks. The Reviewer: Joellyn Powers *** This anthology is kind of a sassy young woman’s dream — maybe a guy’s, too, I don’t really know — but with a title like Shut Up/Look Pretty, this stunning collection featuring works […]