Contributors Archives

Laura Ferris

Poems Encounter the Absences in a Family’s Long History: Q&A with Tess Taylor

Tess TaylorTess Taylor’s first book of poetry, The Forage House (Red Hen Press; 88 pages), is a far-ranging exploration of a family’s role in the United States’s past. Called “brave and compelling” by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Taylor’s collection mediates the historical record that too often embellishes or deletes the legacy of slavery. Framed as a first-person lyrical attempt to understand family history, The Forage House contains no easy solutions to the problems of inherited guilt. Rather, Taylor’s poems outline emotional experience within archival reality, achieving a personal historicity that poet Timothy Donnelly calls “scrupulous and artful.”

We talked with Taylor, an East Bay native, about the intricacies and challenges of composing The Forage House.

Continue reading

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Non-Moronic Relationship with God: Kaya Oakes’s ‘Radical Reinvention’

As Kitchen Sink Magazine cofounder, Kaya Oakes makes clear in the prologue to her memoir cum theological summa, Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church (Counterpoint, 256 pages), “this is not a story of being born again; if I wanted to be an evangelical I could just hop into a church and they’d dip me in a tub and serve me cake.” With this characteristic blend of spiritual sincerity and irreverent wit, Oakes, who is the author of the critically acclaimed book Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture (2009), retraces her steps back into her childhood religion in thoughtful, often funny prose.

Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments