Search View Archive


Interview with Poet Jerry Williams "Gamblin' Man"

Recently, I sat down to begin an e-mail exchange with Jerry Williams. His latest works include a collection of poetry entitled Admission (Carnegie Mellon, 2010) as well as the highly successful anthology It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Poetry of Breakup (Overlook Press, 2009)


Biographies of Shakespeare have always been problematic: so much to explain, so little information. Introducing his new book, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare, Graham Holderness, author of some 20 books on the Bard and an English professor at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield, about 20 miles north of London, acknowledges the preferred solution. Every biography of Shakespeare, he writes, “embroiders fact and tradition into a speculative composition that is, at least partly, fictional.”

Conquering the Third Reich

Roberto Bolaño’s lulling prose lends beauty to a dangerous Spanish beach community in The Third Reich, the latest of his novels to be translated by Natasha Wimmer.

Snapshots of the Artist

In An Emergency in Slow Motion (Bloomsbury, 2011), William Todd Schultz performs a paradox. He eschews the typical biography and in doing so, illuminates his nebulous subject better than any biographer before him.

Lo and Behole

Matvei Yankelevich traffics in words. As a translator, editor, professor, publisher, and poet, he has steeped himself in language.

Road to Nowhere

“So there are rays. Strong ones, others /only splinters.” These lines from Albert Mobilio’s eerie, minor-key latest collection Touch Wood aptly describe the delirious effects a reader may experience in the passenger seat of this existential ride through a psychic terrain of “sand banks, stung with grass.”

The Stuart Sherman Spectacle

Best know for his series of 20 short, experimental plays titled the Spectacles, Sherman led a rich existence on the fringe of the New York avant-garde contemporary art/theater scene from the late ’60s to the early ’90s.


Doug Nufer’s new novel By Kelman Out of Pessoa is another of his contributions to the “literature of constraint.” Certainly, all writing has constraints, but this genre involves an author piling on heavier, if self-imposed, restrictions to challenge his mettle.

Answers Without Questions

“In reality, the sky isn’t far from or near the land,” Cesar Vallejo will write with typically laconic dream-logic before noting, as an afterthought: “In reality, death isn’t far from or close to life.”

The Burqa Unveiled

Love, InshAllah couples romance and faith with 25 real stories of the “secret love lives of American Muslim women.”

Extravagant Blooms

Unlike most memoirs, Binyavanga Wainaina’s One Day I Will Write About This Place reads like a poignant fable. Wainaina deeply cares about his odyssey, the journey of a Kenyan boy who, ultimately, becomes an internationally lauded writer. He also wants readers to care about a region of the world most Westerners believe they are familiar with but, sadly, are not.

SAM BENJAMIN with Winston Len

American Gangbang: A Love Story (Gallery Books, 2011) is a wickedly funny book chronicling Sam Benjamin’s journey from Brown University, where he studied postmodern theory and media, into the world of pornography. Benjamin and Winston Len met up over coffee in the West Village recently to discuss his experience.

Double Jackpot

Baby Geisha, Trinie Dalton’s latest work of fiction, is closer to a cool bar with well-traveled, wacky patrons you’d want to eavesdrop on or chat up over cocktails.

The Dreaming Girl

Roberta Allen’s lyrical novel, The Dreaming Girl, follows one of the richest and most common of plots: Two people meet, fall in love, and either remain together or part.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2012

All Issues