reviewed by Dara Barnat
January 26th, 2015 | 7:00am

Kerrin McCadden’s poignant debut collection of poetry, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, is filled with composed wisdom for how to cope with separation in general, and divorce in particular. The collection won the New Issues Poetry Prize in 2014, and McCadden’s poetry has appeared widely in Best American Poetry 2012, American Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere.

January 22nd, 2015 | 10:00am

Name: Renee Simms

Current city: University Place, WA, which is a suburb five minutes outside of Tacoma

How long have you lived here: Since 2011

Three words to describe the climate: wet gray moss

Best time of the year to visit: July through October

James Solomon on his 70th birthday
January 21st, 2015 | 10:00am

James Solomon on his 70th birthday

Nothing could be done about the cancer in him, so we did not bring him bread. He was dying, and doing so more actively now, though still at a pace he commanded. Even Death let him call most of the shots. We brought Sol what he wanted: vodka and cigarettes.

The vodka had to be Smirnoff and the bottle had to be the lighter, plastic fifth. Its narrower profile was easier to grip. Though his hands were large, illness had weakened them.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user uusc4all
January 19th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user uusc4all

1.   A few days before I moved to Baltimore this summer, I read an article about the city’s racial dynamics that had just been published by D. Watkins, a relatively young black writer who’d grown up in Baltimore. He described a city so racially segregated that it felt like two different places: one black, one white; one dangerous, one quaint; one introduced to him as a kid growing up in East Baltimore and one that he found later as a college student in North Baltimore, attending the predominately white private liberal arts college, where I had just accepted a job. Watkins painted a picture of two adjacent but separate worlds, a place where, he says, white people somehow manage to host literary events in a city that is more than 60% black without one black face in the crowd.

January 16th, 2015 | 7:00am

As we begin 2015, our recommenders are heading into the wilderness. These books range widely through time and space, each embracing its own unique heart of contradiction—exile and home; passion and failure; reason and chaos; doubt and confidence. Heavy with both fictional biography and memoir, we bring you familiar faces from the dark woods of alienation and obsession. Dive into the new year with these five maps by which to recognize yourself and find a path through the forest.

Recommended: The Same Roads Back by Frank Dullaghan, The Season of Migration by Nellie Hermann, Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin, Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson.