Palm Trees

Nick Twemlow

“Like us, palm trees are imports, and seem to come from everywhere but here,” writes a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in an article lamenting the dying days of the once-ubiquitous palm trees of L.A. Named for those iconic imported exotics that flank the boulevards of America’s strangest city, Palm Trees is a collection of poems characterized by a revved-up, ruminative musicality, and it issues its swan song in a voice that channels the restless globalism of America in the new century. The poems shuttle from airport to boardroom, boardroom to living room, making the kind of foreboding observations … Read more

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The White House

Joel Craig

Joel Craig’s poems first reach out with quiet Midwestern sincerity–precise craft mixed with personal invention–but quickly thicken: “Let me try to lay out what I think I understand” leads to “Las Vegas / and the end of Western history.” Ethical without being political, popular without being pop, personal without being sentimental, Craig sings of how we are “stuck near a river / [we] can feel the evidence of / but can’t imagine.” Filled with elegies to aging rock ‘n’ rollers, explorations of skipping romance, and studied frustration with the world as it appears (and a sincere belief that quiet hands, … Read more

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Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present

Anne Elizabeth Moore

The city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia hosts public dance lessons most nights on a newly revitalized riverfront directly in front of prime minister Hun Sen’s urban home. Shortly before dusk, much of the city gathers to bust a few Apsara moves and learn a couple choreographed hip-hop steps from a slew of attractive young men at the head of each group. Outside the bustling capital city, the provinces come alive, too, as the nation’s only all-girl political rock group sets up concerts that call into question the international garment trade, traditional gender roles, and agriculture under globalization. Cambodia is changing: not … Read more

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The Brightest Thing In The World: 3 Essays From The Institute of Failure

Matthew Goulish

THE BRIGHTEST THING IN THE WORLD: 3 ESSAYS FROM THE INSTITUTE OF FAILURE is a collection of essays that touch on seating strategies, Dick Cheney, cuckoo clocks, the Fibonacci series, butterflies and old friends. These threads weave together like a tapestry and by their accumulated resonance create an impression of loss and longing. As in Sebald’s Rings of Saturn, the reader passes through an associative experience. These are the essays of a poet; like a performance of words, each verb is as active as a muscle. While every sentence tends to its end, the reader resists its inevitable conclusion. This … Read more

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