Zadie Smith

The Dipper - February 2019

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know

 

February News

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Save the date! Literary North is proud to partner with our friends at the Brownsville Butcher & Pantry for Poetry & Pints in Brownsville, Vermont, on Sunday, March 10, from 5:15 to 7:00 pm. Doors open at 4:30 pm. Admission is by donation. The evening features poets Colin McKraig, Peter Money, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez; fabulous food, beer, and wine; plus an open mic so we can hear YOUR original work. Chef Peter Varkonyi is creating a cozy a la carte menu for the evening. Beer, food, poetry! It’s what you need to survive the end of winter. We hope you’ll join us. Visit the Poetry & Pints page on our website for full details.

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If you haven’t gotten tickets yet for this year’s JAG Fest—JAG Production’s annual festival of new in-process plays by African-American playwrights—what are you waiting for? This year’s festival shines the spotlight on black female poets. Four staged readings will take place the weekend of February 9 to 10 at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. Each performance features a post-show conversation with the artists, moderated by Dartmouth scholars. Tickets are $20 per performance, or $50 for a weekend pass that includes access to all presentations. Last year’s performances were stunning. You don’t want to miss this! (Note: You can meet this year’s playwrights for conversation and lunch at Dartmouth College on Tuesday, February 5.)

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Are you already a member of the Slow Club Book Club? If not, here are five reasons you might want to join us for our first pick of the year, Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary, translated by Margaret Mitsutani:

  1. It’s short. 138 pages!

  2. It won the National Book Award for Translated Literature.

  3. New Directions, a fantastic small press, published it!

  4. It takes place in a world of giant dandelions where only crows and spiders are thriving. (Aren’t you intrigued?)

  5. In Yoko Tawada’s author photo, she is posing with a pomegranate.

If you’re reading along, let us know! And if you post about it to Instagram or Twitter, be sure to tag us with #slowclubbookclub or #literarynorth.

Several of our friends are hosting workshops or events soon that we wanted to bring to your attention. Full details for all of these are in the Deadlines and Workshops sections later in this newsletter:

  • Poets, please consider applying for the Free Verse Farm Residency in the hills of Chelsea, Vermont. The location is stunning and we can’t imagine better hosts than Taylor and Misha. Applications are due April 1.

  • James Crews is hosting his online Mindfulness and Writing workshop beginning on February 2. James was a featured poet at our first Poetry & Pie event. His poetry is outstanding, and he’s such a kind person. You’re sure to enjoy his class.

  • Jo Knowles and Tillie Walden will be teaching their “Creating Graphic Novels for the YA Market” workshop at The Center for Cartoon Studies this summer. We interviewed this dynamic duo last year about the class. Registration for CCS Summer 2019 classes is open now.

To make room on our site for new events, we’ve collected information and links for all of our past events and projects on a single page. We hope this makes it easier for you to find out what we’re up to and what we’ve done before. We have some really fun ideas for 2019 and can’t wait to add them to the list. As subscribers, you’ll hear about all of it first! Thank you, as always, for your support, kind words, and enthusiasm. Your energy helps fire up this two-woman team!



February’s Shooting Stars

A cool literary find from each of us to help light up your reading life:

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  • Need a brush-up on your grammar? Look no further than Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief of Random House. Witty grammar lessons? Yes, please. —Shari

  • This amazing and moving essay in The New Yorker by Gregory Pardlo about his father and the 1981 air-traffic controller strike includes beautiful sentences like this: “All your delicate ideas have to remain perfectly clear and distinct in your mind at all times.” —Rebecca


February Highlights

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Thursday, February 7 at 4:30 pm, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, celebrates the life and work of Andre Dubus II in Sanborn Library with readings and discussion about Dubus’ work. The event features the editor of his re-issued series of Collected Stories, Joshua Bodwell, and the distinguished publisher David R. Godine.

The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, Vermont is holding A Celebration of Vermont Poets on Saturday, February 9, at 4:00 pm. The great lineup includes Dede Cummings, Chard deNiord, Karin Gottshall, Syd Lea, Gary Margolis, Julia Shipley, and Bianca Stone. With chocolate!

The Center for Cartoon Studies’ own James Sturm is on tour for his new graphic novel, Off Season. Catch him at the CCS in White River Junction, Vermont, on Thursday, February 14 at 4:00 pm. James’ presentation will also touch upon the drawing of dogs, crooked contractors, LSD, and 4 x 6 index cards.

Jane Brox. Photo by Luc Demers

Jane Brox. Photo by Luc Demers

The lovely Jane Brox will be at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire, on Saturday, February 16, at 11:00 am to read from her latest non-fiction work, Silence.

Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi reads at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Thursday, February 21, at 4:30 pm in the Sanborn Library.

You’ve got two great chances to see Pam Houston read from her recent book, Deep Creek. On Sunday, February 24 at 6:00 pm, she’ll be at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont; she’ll be at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, on Tuesday. February 26.

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard, a professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont, reads from her book, Black Is The Body, at 6:00 pm on Friday, February 22 at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont.

The Painted Word Poetry Series is back at The Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington, Vermont. Stephanie Burt reads on Wednesday, February 27 at 6:00 pm.

Visit our calendar for detailed information about these events and more!

 

Worth a Drive

LitFest 2019 begins on Wednesday, February 27 and goes through Sunday, March 3 at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Jamel Brinkley—whose amazing collection of short stories, A Lucky Man, was nominated for a National Book Award and for The Story Prize—will be reading on Thursday, February 28 along with fellow NBA nominee Brandon Hobson. Other writers in attendance will be Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Cullen Murphy.

 

Worth a Listen

  • What a treat to hear Zadie Smith and her husband Nick Laird speak about their books, both titled Feel Free, on the Shakespeare & Co. podcast.

  • Every single episode of the Slowdown podcast with Tracy K. Smith. Period.

We're Looking Forward to These February Releases:

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

It’s PoemCity and PoemTown season again! Submit your poems for consideration to be displayed in downtown windows in Montpelier, Randolph, and St. Johnsbury, Vermont, during the month of April. The submission deadline for Montpelier and Randolph is February 4. The submission deadline for St. Johnsbury is February 28. For more information about Montpelier and St. Johnsbury submissions, please visit the PoemCity Submission page and the PoemCity website. For Randolph submissions, please send 1-3 original poems as Word attachments to musbird@gmail.com. Include your contact information in the email (name, mailing address, email address and telephone number). Then attach each poem separately with the title of the poem as the document name and no identifying information other than the poem’s title on each document.

The Upper Valley Fiction group is accepting new members. The group meets monthly, September though June, to offer honest feedback on each other’s work. An MFA or publication is not required, but comparable writing expertise is preferred. To apply, submit one short story or one chapter (no longer than 20 pages) by February 11 to uppervalleyfiction@gmail.com.

The Poetry Society of Vermont is accepting submissions to its publication, The Mountain Troubadour, until February 14. You can submit up to three poems, of 40 lines or less. You must be a PSOV member to submit. For more information, please visit the Mountain Troubadour Submission page.

Applications for the next round of Vermont Studio Center residency fellowships for artists and writers are due by February 15 (for residencies scheduled between May and December 2019 in Johnson, Vermont), including the James Merrill Poetry, ALSCW, VSC/Callaloo, Helen Zell Residency, and Voices Rising fellowships. Every VSC residency includes private room, private studio space, all meals, and full access to the VCS’ schedule of evening programs and events. For more information, please visit the VSC Fellowships page.

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program is seeking nominations for the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. The Laureate is the PPLP’s main bridge to the community, a role model and recruiter for future generations of poets and sets the tone for two years in the life of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program. Nominees should live in Portsmouth, Dover, Durham, Eliot, Greenland, Kittery, Madbury, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Rye, or Stratham, or work at least half time in Portsmouth. To make a nomination, send an email about your nominee to info@pplp.org by February 20.

The AVA Gallery in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is looking for storytellers for its next Mudroom event (March 14). Selected storytellers will be awarded an AVA membership and may bring a guest to enjoy the evening. Please include a very brief summary of your story (no more than 300 words) and a short bio (no more than 150 words) by February 24. For more information, please visit the Mudroom page.

Applications are open for Free Verse Farm’s week-long poetry residencies. Residents will stay in an off-grid small vintage camper on the farm in Chelsea, Vermont. The residence fee is $250/week, which includes coffee and tea, but all other groceries must be provided by the resident, with meal preparation occurring in the camper. Poets are welcome to bring a partner at no extra charge. The application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, please visit the Free Verse Residency page.

The Juniper Summer Writing Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts (June 16 to 22) is accepting applications. The institute includes manuscript consultations, craft sessions, workshops, readings, and other events, led by a wide range of instructors, including CAConrad, Gabriel Bump, Ross Gay, Khadijah Queen, Bianca Stone, Ocean Vuong, Dara Weir, and Joy Williams. The non-refundable application fee is $40. For more information and to apply, please visit the Juniper Institute website.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Poet James Crews is offering his four-week Mindfulness and Writing Online workshop from February 2 to March 9. This generative online writing workshop will examine connections between the practice of meditation/mindfulness and the act of writing fearlessly from the heart. Though not required, attendees will be invited to share their work via email with each other. Beginners and all skill levels are welcome. You do not need any previous experience with mindfulness, meditation, or online courses; all you need is an internet connection, email, and an open mind. $295 for four sessions. For more information and to register, please visit the Northshire Books events page.

On February 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, join the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and romance author Ana E. Ross at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, for “So You Think You Know Me?” This workshop focuses on three vital elements of characterization in storytelling: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC). This interactive workshop invites you to bring a character you’re working on. $65 for members; $80 for non-members. For information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

The New Hampshire Writers’ Project is hosting a six-week “Preparing Your Manuscript for an Agent’s Eyes” workshop, where you can work your manuscript into a polished version ready for agents, professional review, and publishing consideration. You will work directly with Amanda Forbes Silva, a professional writer and editor who will help you better evaluate your writing and determine how to edit your work for clarity and concision. All genres are welcome! The workshop meets on Saturdays, February 16 through March 23, 1:00 to 4:00 pm at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire. $390 for NHWP members; $510 for non-members. For information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

On March 9, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is offering a “One Photo, Four Stories” writing workshop where you will use a photo of your choice as a prompt for four separate stories. This class is open to all levels. $68 for members; $80 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the AVA Gallery website.

Already dreaming of summer? Registration for Summer Workshops at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, is already open. This year’s workshops include Graphic Memoirs with Melanie Gillman, Creating Graphic Novels for the Young Adult Market with Jo Knowles and Tillie Walden, and a Graphic Novel Workshop with Paul Karasik. For all the details and to register, please visit the CCS 2019 Summer Workshops page.

The Dipper - February 2018

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know!

 

February News

Here in New England, we're in the quiet heart of winter. But the minutes of daylight are accumulating on either end of the day, and if you listen quietly you can just begin to hear the gathering pulse of the spring and summer reading season.

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There's still plenty happening in this in between month, though. If you're a regular Dipper reader, you already know about our Slow Club Book Club, which began in January and will go all year long. We're so happily surprised by how many of you are joining us for our first book, A Whole Life, by Robert Seethaler. Haven't joined yet? It's never too late! We'll be sending our next SCBC  newsletter out to subscribers soon.

Predictions of dicey weather forced the postponement of Robin MacArthur's January reading from her new novel, Heart Spring Mountain, at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont. The new date is Friday, February 9, at 7:00 pm. We hope to see many of you there! In the meantime, you can read our interview with Robin on the blog.

Also starting Friday, February 9 is JAGFest 2.0 at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. We recently had a chance to ask Nathan Yungerberg—author of Friday night's play, Esai's Table—a few questions. Check out our interview with Nathan.

In what looks to be an annual tradition for us, Shari and I are following in The Millions' footsteps, by sharing our "Year in Reading" with you. See Shari and Rebecca's lists on our blog. What were your favorite reads in 2017? Let us know and maybe can we share a reader's roundup here!

February's Shooting Stars

In this new feature, we'll each share one cool literary find to help light up your month...

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  • I'm eagerly anticipating Nafissa Thompson-Spires' new book, Heads of the Colored People. Check out her interview over at Electric Literature and pre-order her book from your local indie. —Shari
  • I'm loving the new blog, One Great Things, which delivers a mini literary review every Wednesday. So far, they've reviewed an essay, three poems, and a piece of flash fiction. I love their selections, insights, and enthusiasm. —Rebecca

February Highlights

James Crews (who was a featured poet at our Poetry & Pie event last year) will read from his book, Telling My Father, at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, on Friday, February 9, at 6:00 pm.

Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng, poet and author of the chapbook The Passion of Woo & Isolde, will be reading at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday, February 12, at 5:30 pm.

On Thursday, February 15, the Young Writers Project hosts its annual Vermont Writes Day. Writers of all ages are invited to take seven minutes to write. You can write in response to one of the supplied prompts, or write anything you like. For more information, visit the Young Writers Project website.

Every third Thursday, the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, Vermont, hosts the Lettuce Write Poetry Series, a cost-free, judgement-free, all-ages event open to every poet and listener! Write a poem that relates to the monthly theme, and share it with the group. The next meeting is Friday, February 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Bianca Stone has a new book of poetry, The Mobius Strip Club of Grief. Our friends Ruth and Jeremy at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont, will be hosting an event for Bianca on Saturday, February 17, at 6:00 pm.

Haroon Moghul

Haroon Moghul

On Thursday, February 22, at 5:00 pm, Haroon Moghul, author of How to Be a Muslim: An American Story, will be leading a discussion and signing his book at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

On Friday, February 23, novelist James Scott, poet Julia Shipley, and essayist Jericho Parms will be reading at Cafe Anna, on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. The readings begin at 5:30 pm.

As a part of the Painted Word Poetry Series, Michael Dickman will be at the Fleming Art Museum in Burlington, Vermont, Wednesday, February 28, at 6:00 pm.

 

Worth a Drive

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

On Thursday, February 8, at 8:00 pm, poet CA Conrad will be reading in Amherst, Massachusetts, as a part of the UMass Amherst's Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be held at in the Great Hall at Old Chapel on the UMass campus.

Tayari Jones will be at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday, February 12, at 7:00 pm to read from her new novel, An American Marriage.

 

Worth a Listen

Shari loved David Naimon's interview with Leni Zumas on his podcast, Between The Covers.

 

We're Looking Forward to These February Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The deadline to apply for one of Vermont Studio Center's 60+ month-long residency fellowships is February 15. All artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. For more information and to apply, please visit the VSC Fellowship page.

Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference (June 1 to 7) is accepting applications through February 15. Faculty includes Brooks Haxton, Amber Flora Thomas, Luis Alberto Urrea, Ted Genoways, Deirdre Heekin, Scott Russell Sanders, and Ginger Strand. For more information, please visit the Conference page.

In neighboring Amherst, Massachusetts, applications are open for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute (July 17 to 24) and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers (July 22 to 29) at the University of Massachusetts. Faculty for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute includes Eileen Myles, Dorothea Lasky, Rickey Laurentiis, Dara Wier, Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Joy Williams. A non-refundable application fee for the Summer Writing Institute is required. There is no application fee for the Young Writers Institute. For more information about both institutes and to apply, please visit the Juniper Summer Writing Institute website.

    Hunger Mountain, the literary journal from VCFA, holds four annual contests: The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction PrizeThe Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction PrizeThe Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and The Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. All contests are open to submissions through March 1. For more information, please visit their Contests page.

    Enter the Mass Poetry contest to have your poem included as part of Mass Poetry's Raining Poetry project. Excerpts from the winning poms will be displayed on the streets of Salem, Massachusetts to celebrate the 10th Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 5 to 6). Use the submission form to submit up to three original poems on the broad theme of the body by March 1.

    The 2018 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry is open for entries through March 30. The winner receives $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in June 2018 as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm. For more information and to enter, please visit the Frost Farm Prize page.

    Applications are open until March 31 for two scholarships at The Frost Place:

    • The Gregory Pardlo Scholarship for Emerging African American Poets is open to African American Poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. The winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar, including room and board, and will give a featured reading at the Seminar. For more information, please visit the Gregory Pardlo Scholarship page.
    • The Latin@ Scholarship is open to applicants that self-identify as Latin@, have a strong commitment to the Latin@ community, and are at least 21 years of age. The winner will receive tuition, room and board, and travel for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. For more information and to apply, please visit the Latin@ Scholarship page.

    Vermont Literary Review is taking submissions of creative work about New England until March 31. For more information, please visit Castleton University's website.

    The Odyssey Writing Workshop (June 4 to July 13) is accepting applications until April 7.  Odyssey workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.. Prospective students must include a 4.000 word writing sample with their application. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

    Registration is open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21, 2018). Faculty includes Connie May FowlerJeff KleinmanRichard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.

    The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.

    The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.

    Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.


    February Workshops and Classes

    February 9 to 11, Dani Shapiro will lead "The Stories We Carry: Meditation and Writing," a weekend-long workshop that blends meditation and movement, generative writing exercises, group sharing, and discussion. The workshop will be held at Kripalu, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tuition is $375. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.

    On February 10, Bill Biddle is offering a workshop entitled "Making Slam Poetry and Preparing to Compete in a Poetry Slam" at Catamount Arts. This workshop is intended for writers new to poetry slams and is geared toward ages 12 and up. The workshop is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit Catamount Arts.

    Join author and associate professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire, Tom Paine, for an hour-long webinar titled “The Secret Architecture of Short Fiction.” The workshop will be held online, on Monday, February 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. $10 for NHWP members; $25 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers Project Workshops page.

    Steve Carter, co-owner of Maat Publishing is teaching a workshop called, "Making Scrivener Work for You" on Saturday, February 24, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This workshop will show you how to use Scrivener to write the first draft, manage characters and settings, develop the structure of your writing, revise, prepare your manuscript to be shared with beta readers, editors, and publishers, make an ebook, and more. $50 for NHWP members. $75 for non-members. The workshop will be held at The Ford House on the SNHU Campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers' Project Workshops page.

    Judith Hertog is teaching a five-week course, Dare to Write!, from February 27 through March 27 at The Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The focus of the workshop is personal nonfiction but fiction writers are welcome, too. For more information and to register, please visit The Writer's Center Workshops page.

    Shari's 2016 Year in Reading

    First, a shout out to The Millions for this wonderful idea to revisit the year in books. Please visit their site to see what others were reading in 2016.

    Let's start with my favorite book of the year. Without a doubt, it is Hisham Matar's The Return. Confession: I did not actually read this book. I listened to it (beautifully narrated by Matar himself) while driving through Nova Scotia this summer. There's something to be said for listening to a book while seeing a new landscape for the first time. The two will forever be linked in my mind. This is the story of Matar's journey back home to Libya after the fall of Qaddafi on a quest to find out what happened to his father, who was imprisoned during Qaddafi's reign. Matar reunites with family members as he desperately searches to find any trace of his father and uses literature and art to help him make sense of his return to his homeland. Haunting, brave and luminous, I cannot forget this book.

     

    I stayed up late toward the end of 2016 reading the essays in Peter Orner's brilliant book, Am I Alone Here? As Orner contemplates his favorite works of literature and the connections to his own life, you will find your TBR pile growing significantly.  Orner is one of my very favorite writers, and this generous, thoughtful book feels like you are having a literary conversation with your best friend.

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    Blair Braverman's memoir, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube follows Braverman through her time as an exchange student in Norway to Alaska, where she works as a tour guide and back again, as she unravels what it takes to thrive in a harsh, cold environment. While there's plenty of adventure to be had, it is so much more than an adventure story. This book has a lot of heart. I kept stopping between chapters to talk to my husband about it.  Highly recommended.

    In fiction, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Alex Chee's The Queen of the Night. Lush descriptions, unforgettable characters, and a quickly moving storyline made it the perfect read during the dreary month of February.

    Brit Bennett's The Mothers was the only book that I read in one sitting this year. There's really no need for me to say anything else except that I cannot wait for Bennett's next book.

    Zadie Smith's Swing Time was a bit of a slow burn for me. In the beginning of the novel, I wished for less Aimee and more Tracey. However, as I turned the pages, I was completely won over. I still think about these characters on a daily basis.

    If short stories are more your speed, do pick up Robin MacArthur's Half Wild and Sara Majka's Cities I've Never Lived In. Both of these debuts are fantastic.

    I didn't read as much poetry this year as I would have liked, but I have to mention Solmaz Sharif's Look. Sharif takes words from the Department of Defense's dictionary and includes them in her poems in all caps, forcing the reader to think about the language of violence and war. Look is challenging, beautiful, and fierce; Sharif would be a great choice for poet laureate. Start with her poems "Look" and "Safe House."