Here’s what some of SHARK REEF’s editors have been enjoying in recent weeks.
Stephanie Barbé Hammer
Managing Editor Stephanie just finished and loved the novel Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peers a gorgeous, moving, funny, and insightful novel about gender and she’s still savoring the beautifully devastating poems in Romaine Washington’s chapbook Purgatory Has An Address.
Links to the books:
Non-Fiction co-Editor Noel has been reading The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor. Written as part memoir and part guidebook, this text explores the relationships we carry with our bodies in terms of race, size, gender and sexuality. Written in a refreshing tone that is part conversational and part confessional, The Body is Not an Apology encourages the reader to engage in their relationships with their own bodies and celebrate them in an act of radical, unapologetic, and freeing love.
Lately Poetry Co-Editor Richard has been enjoying re-reading Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, a novel he first read about 30 years ago. He also enjoyed a poem of hers he recently found called “Up.” A while ago, he reread (poetry co-editor) Linda Conroy’s recent book of poems, Ordinary Signs, worth rereading.
The most compelling book Poetry Co-Editor Linda has read in the past few months is Katherine May’s Wintering. A non-fiction in which May recounts a year-long journey through a dark and dormant period in her life finding cues and support in the natural cycle of the seasons. Describing so much more than a relationship with the natural world, she reminds us of forgotten rituals, the need to listen and observe, to slow down and sometimes to stop what we think we must do. Linda especially appreciated learning that the annoying period of insomnia in the middle of the night was for our ancestors a time of spiritual pondering and meditation. Linda is also enjoying Bob Hickok’s tenth poetry collection, Hold, in which he uses humor as a way into some serious and weird thinking that is always surprising.
Editor Emerita Lorna just re-read Robert Johnson’s Balancing Heaven and Earth and is re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and Philip Goldberg’s American Veda with the goal of being more present and self-aware. She’s also reading Bruce Feiler’s Abraham as well as some delicious novels to take her out of herself: Bryan Washington’s Memorial – a “funny, sexy, profound dramedy about two gay men at a crossroads in their relationship and the limits of love” — and The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesley in which “a random act of violence opens vistas into the vagaries of fate and the complexity of human experience for three teenagers.” She fell completely in love with this fictional family.