Los Angeles Review No. 13

Overview


We begin in California in this issue of The Los Angeles Review with Dana Gioia’s “California Hills in August,” which ends, “the empty sky, the wish for water,” which sums up Southern California in August, all of us hot and waiting, watching the sky for nothing. Gioia captures the speed, the distance, the car, the open air.
 
I’m always enthralled with how many stories and poems of the West include cars, driving, speed, the turnpikes of ...
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More About This Book

Overview


We begin in California in this issue of The Los Angeles Review with Dana Gioia’s “California Hills in August,” which ends, “the empty sky, the wish for water,” which sums up Southern California in August, all of us hot and waiting, watching the sky for nothing. Gioia captures the speed, the distance, the car, the open air.
 
I’m always enthralled with how many stories and poems of the West include cars, driving, speed, the turnpikes of morning, the thick smog air, gas stations, and the punch of late night driving in your gut when you decide to make the long miles. “Joe Strummer is dead. I know this because I heard it on the radio in the van on my way here,” Dani Burlison writes in “Joe Strummer is Dead.” We hear good and bad news in cars. We live in cars. Our lives happen in cars and sometimes stop happening in cars.
 
“It was the pistol that got me into his car,” Chelsia A. Rice writes in “Tough Enough to Float,” and the story unravels, of a young girl raped in a car by a stranger, of her separation from her body, of floating above that car, looking down on herself under assault, yet not completely herself, refusing to re-enter until it was over.
 
Natalie Diaz’s book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, is reviewed by Ariel Robello. It’s a book well worth reading. “Think dancing on chicken wire while a hallucinogenic toreador taunts you with a cloak. This debut collection boasts busted fruit, bloody fields of flowers, zoo animals, and Biblical allusions, all of which serve as the sticks and stones Diaz hurls at the world,” Robello writes. Diaz read in a Red Hen reading last summer at the Annenberg Beach House moderated by Eloise Klein Healy, the editor of Arktoi Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press, the first poet laureate of the city of Los Angeles, one of our poetic treasures. Natalie Diaz is a basketball player, a Native American poet, a lesbian, she carries it all forward in a surge of quiet thunder. Robello’s review isn’t long enough to do the book justice, but read it and then read the book.
 
The interview with Dana Gioia by Ann Beman gives new insights into the life of a poet, who, born and raised in Los Angeles, made a career first in business and then in public life on the East Coast, only to return to poetry and the West Coast. Gioia avoided the life most poets fall into, almost by default, the life of the academic. Dana Gioia believes that too many poets huddling in academia has led poetry to become a marginalized art form.
 
We at The Los Angeles Review and Red Hen Press continue to read outside the margins, to live outside confined spaces, to think in open air.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597091602
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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