Guerrilla Poetry & a Gallery

So, Words Fest in London Ontario… It happened. It happens every year. This was my first year attending the festival and I returned from it with pictures, a t-shirt and not even a slight hangover. It was my good friend Jaime Brenes Reyes who invited me and asked me to participate in the annual Guerrilla Poetry event of which he is one of the organizers. There were a slew of events over the weekend, but I made it to only the Guerrilla Poetry reading and the well attended open mic.

In past years, the Guerrilla Poetry event has spread throughout the city of London, finding choice locations where various readers would set up and proceed to read works of poetry in the open air to all who happened to pass, free to read their own works or the work of others. This year, unfortunately, the attendance was low, and as a result it was decided that the readers would not spread across the city (which seems to me to be the entire point of the event) and instead all readers took turns reading works from atop a stout wall in front of the London market. It happened. The timid poetry that was read could barely be heard above the racket of passing traffic and the music from the market. There were two “sets”. I read, along with about 5 others, during this set, from my new chapbook upROUTE (above/ground, 2017). I had to laugh. A woman who had taken control of organization, but who was not an organizer, after listening to me read, perhaps naively sincere, or, hopefully, with misplaced condescension, said, “Oh, you’re playing with words!”. “Yes,” I replied with a shrug and a nod, “That’s what poetry is.” I got the sense if we met again, we would not be friends. She did not invite me to read during the second set, quickly dismissing everyone when it would have been my turn to read. Like I said, I had to laugh. So, Guerrilla Poetry, it happened, but certainly didn’t live up to its name.

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After that, Jaime and I headed over to the Museum London (where later, the open mic would be held). The curator had, I assume, aligned the choice of work with the occurrence of Words Fest–and was it by coincidence, how perfect. The exhibition that both Jaime and I were drawn to was Robert Fone’s “Signs | Forms | Narratives” on until December 10th. Much of Fone’s work, selected for this exhibit, dealt with text, be it word, sentence or letter. In some of the work, the word was nearly illegible so that it straddled drawing, calligraphy and your everyday semantic text-to-be read. Other works focused on the letter, presenting large, heavy seeming individual letters, on the face of which were images so that the viewer was presented with letter as object and object pregnant with the articulation of the world. But look for yourself,

There were a few other pieces that grabbed my eye, but unfortunately I can neither remember nor find the name of the artist, so the images alone will have to do,

Later that evening was the open mic. When I arrived almost all the seats were filled. Estimating from memory, there were about 80 – 100 people in the audience. That might be an over-estimation, but in any case, it had a superb attendance. At the back of the room was a table where the readers could enter there poems into a zine that will be published. I usually jump at the chance to read when the mic is open, and this time was no different. I spoke to the organizer and had my name added to the long list. As most of the seats were taken I established myself at the back of the room and set to listening.

Open mics are great opportunities for anyone to share their work with that portion of the population that turns up. But let me say this, slam poetry stinks. I personally can’t stand it, which means nothing to no one, but I state it anyway. It is certainly a legitimate form of poetic expression, I’m not challenging that. Amateur slam poetry, when it slams into my ears, is intolerable. It doesn’t slam so much as timidly approach–only to complain. Please, please, rise above the complaint and write something which uses the difficulties and complexities of living to create something more than whining. Teach us, challenge us–teach and challenge yourself! There are endless ways.

As an aside, this puts me in mind of a poem by Andrew Nurse, in which he expresses his own sentiments on the art of slam poetry in a poem titled, Slam Poem, a Slam Poem,

After swigging wine from a water bottle and listening attentively for the first set, and making it through the featured reader, I’d pretty much had my fill–of slam. Unfortunately, I left after the end of the first set. So, I didn’t read, and frankly, I’d lost the desire. But even this asshole writing here didn’t come away with nothing. There was a young girl of maybe 9 or 10 who got up onto the stage, with her mother for support, and read a poem that she had written that was really unbelievable for one of her age. She went beyond rhythm and rhyming and complaining–and delivered the hands-down best poem of the first set. She employed a simple technique where end words and phrases acted as pivots for the following sentences–and her reading was fantastic. Whoever you are, little girl, keep at it! And thank you.


On the Obvious

Is it always obvious when you see, hear, experience good art? Let’s not go there. That conversation goes on forever and forgets that the essential lack of an agreeable answer is the empty heart which drives the mess. But we do judge. I’m concerned with the evaluation when turned inward. When thrown out into the world of statements, the humbling beauty and achievement, when thrown out into the fecund exuberance of creation that meets our own bumbling efforts. We compare.

Alone, always, usually, and almost never, submersed in the self, how we practice and hone our skills. It is something to have pride in, our practices as varied as our sameness. And then we think we are good. Opt out if you do not wish to be included (simple as that).

I. I play guitar–and I try to play guitar–and I try to play guitar better. I feel rather good when I play. When I play with another, I feel pretty good to be playing so well. Time passes and that sweet lull of confidence measures one’s stature on the streets among the crowds, among peers. The sky participates–at least, it makes no objections. It agrees by silent ascent. But I’m not yet talking about the obvious.

The obvious, in this case, the case that occurred and has often occurred, which propels these words, was that sledgehammer of performance. Knocked me down. Oh, right, I am not good. Here is the performance:


I cannot listen to this, watch the fingers of Matteo Mancuso, a musician I’ve never before heard of and only came upon by chance, I cannot be present with this music and say, it is not good. It is obvious–that it is good. And then I turn inward (you’ve done this also? who would have thought?). My playing… my playing… my playing. I might as well put the guitar down, for christ’s sake. This defeatism was instilled sometime early on. And how hard it is to break a habit! But, this attitude is both ignorant and harmful (not the bliss form of ignorance). It has taken me 32 years, minus a few for infancy, to learn what is not obvious (though most think it is): even though markedly less skilled than someone, than many, to define one’s practice (here, specifically, a life in art) in a reactionary area of phantasmal absolutes, is… not to understand creation before institution.

I am far less talented than Mr. Mancuso–and how I love to play guitar,




Readability, Noise & the Visual: An Interview with R. Keith

After having read a few titles by R. Keith, and having followed his work online and occasionally catching it in journals… I decided it would be a good idea to do an interview. It turns out it was a good idea, though my skills evidently need sharpening. Thank you for enduring me, Robert.

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R. Keith is a persona that works with visuals, texts, poetics, fiction, and exophonic writing. He is the author of four collections of poetry, and five chapbooks. His collection of Visual poetry Chicken Scratch was published in 2017 (eyeameye books) Forthcoming is his 1st novella in 2018.


This interview was conducted on October 15th, 2017. 

SA: Sacha Archer
RK: R. Keith

SA:         Okay. Let’s do it.

RK:         Hit me.

SA:         First of all, it is certainly normal to have a pseudonym on Facebook, but I’ve noticed you’ve changed yours a number of times since we connected—plus, correct me if I’m wrong–you recently legally changed your name?

RK:         Yep. I was born Robert Keith Swereda. I just dropped my dad’s last name, he wasn’t a part of my life. I wanted to change it for ages, I thought it’d be a lot of paper work that I wouldn’t understand so I never got around to it until last year. The process was actually quite easy, just time consuming and I had to visit several different places to get documents, notary, signatures, etc. because I was born in Alberta and live in BC now. I published a few books under my birth name. I thought it’d be difficult to start publishing all over again with a different name, but I had no trouble. I publish as R. Keith now.

SA:         I can certainly relate to having a last name connected to a person who—one’s not connected to. I’m curious if you see any connection between this concern with naming in relation to your writing.

RK:         It’s like carrying something around that doesn’t actually belong to you. I found out after that a person can legally have just 1 name (like Prince, the musician) I should have done that instead. But imagine the grief trying to travel and your passport has just one name…
Not sure what you are asking? Changing my name didn’t really affect my writing or publishing.

SA:         Okay, fair enough. I recently read your chapbook, Phon Phon, published by The Blasted Tree. I find it a very difficult text, and I love it for its extreme difficultly. How do you imagine the reader engaging with it? Do you consider it readable?

RK:         I imagine the reader trying for the 1st page then taking it to a used book store to trade for store credit because they couldn’t understand and got frustrated. I learned Brazilian Portuguese and speak Canadian English. The text comes from a phrase book I found at a Value Village. For British English Speakers to learn European Portuguese. … There are differences in both phonetics. Think of the way a British person would say “shower” the -er sounds like “ah” … and European Portuguese is so different to Brazilian, some Brazilian movies are subtitled in Portugal. Brazil uses different words, like Xicara is Cup, in Portugal it’s Taça. … in Portugal and Rio de Janeiro, they say S like sh, outside of Rio it’s like the S in English. …so using the phonetic examples of both the languages is a double Brain Fart for me to read.

SA:         Let’s make clear what’s happening in the chapbook. On the first page it says, “Exophony is the practice of writing in a language that is not one’s mother tongue. Phonetics is the study and classification of speech sounds. This collection of poems was constructed from phonetic examples of British English into European Portuguese.” So, in theory, the reader should be able to sound out the text and find themselves speaking English, yes? With what you’ve just said in mind, of course.

RK:         Hmm… If they keep in mind the British and Euro Portuguese sounds. The 1st piece, 3rd line “er vosh” would sound like -a vOH-sh. (a voz, the voice). “noo mer ser per ter ree er” is Numa Sapateria (in the shoe store).

SA:         So is the reader articulating English or European Portuguese? I’m still not clear on that.

RK:         The Euro Portuguese sounds. I’d be interested to hear someone who had no clue about either to try to read this out loud, though.

SA:         You’re not making this easy. That doesn’t clarify it. Is the reader articulating Euro Portuguese sounds which combine to give English words/phrases?

RK:         The phrase book was for British to learn EP phrases.

SA:         O.K. Now that I’ve revealed myself as a complete knucklehead… would you agree that this is a book of poetic noise?

RK:         Probably all my writing is noise, poetic or not. I enjoy work that gives me WTF moments. And looking at languages and trying to figure out any meaning. If there is any. Another example is the piece Language Arts, in Chicken Scratch.

SA:         Yes! I wanted to bring that up in relation to Phon Phon. There is a strange sense in Language Arts of a conscious angle of naivety and play which makes the piece possible. You looked at characters from different languages such as Chinese, Korean and Arabic and wrote the images you saw in the characters. Your work is often visual. Do you see Phon Phon as visual also?

RK:         You could say that Phon Phon is a collage of texts. I cut text out of the phrase book and reordered them to resemble poetry

SA:         Only resemble? At what point does the semblance become the thing itself?

RK:         idk, I just work here. Since I work with poems, text, and also visuals, I wanted to create pieces you could look at, or into, but still appear to be stanzas, so it could be labeled as poetry. And create a bit of familiarity in all the WTFness.

SA:         Once the reader becomes exhausted from reading through Phon Phon (I read through it a number of times which, frankly, hurt, in the best of ways) the visual collage aspect is something to be with—especially when viewed on The Blasted Tree website where there is the colour of the original.

Now, in your opinion, what is the state of vispo today? Do you think it’s going anywhere, or has it reached a logical conclusion?

RK:         South America, namely Argentina and Brazil have a ton of fantastic visual poets. Just through Facebook I’ve gotten exposed to tons of great vispoets from around the world. If there were a conclusion to be had, would it even be logical? For myself, the state of vispo is lively, I’m still relatively new, and discovering the community. And learning by creating.
I can see some people thinking of it as just Bad art. A certain magazine lost its government funding after putting out a vispo issue some years ago.

SA:         Wow. Do you recall which magazine?

RK:         Hahaha, Filling Station. It happened just before I joined when I lived in Calgary. I think it was 2010 or 2011.

SA:         The Canadian government will legalize weed, but won’t put up with vispo! No surprise there, really.

Who are some contemporary visual poets you would recommend?

RK:         Luc Fierens, Gustav Morin, Pascal Verjil, Sam Roxas-Chua, Bruno Neiva.

SA:         Awesome. I also love Sam and Mr. Morin. Sam Roxas-Chua often posts exposés of his work on Facebook accompanied by music. As you said much of your work is noise, and I’ve seen more than a few pictures of you with new guitars, how does music effect your work? Or, what music influences your work? How does your own playing effect your work?

RK:         It’s another creative tool. I’ve wanted to record my poetry over top of my music, though I hate the sound of my voice, and I get this Ben Stein mono-tone drone when I read out loud. That’s why I don’t really preform at many readings. …I usually have some music playing at home, and if I’m trying to write I’ll have earphones in to mask any other noise so I can concentrate.

My 1st book re:verbs had some pieces that were inspired by Leo Brouwer’s music. His solo guitar compositions have this crooked angual sound, I wanted to visualize this with text. I used the titles of some of Brouwer’s pieces as stating points for the poems.

SA:         I don’t know him. I’ll check him out. How about Derek Bailey?


How would you describe the music you create?

RK:         Lately I’m into improvising, using loops. I’ll piddle around on the fretboard until I find something I like, loop it, piddle around more over top. Maybe start on bass, loop it, then switch to lapsteel or guitar. I bought a Spanish Lute and a fretless bass recently, trying to figure out what to do with those.

Derek Bailey is the shit! I love the —play guitar like you don’t know how— vibe.

SA:         Right? I would love to hear some of your music. If it’s anything like your poetry it would be worth the time. Any recording being done, even casually?

RK: I have 3 soundcloud pages. I used to post on youtube ages ago.

SA:         Great! I look forward to checking it out. I heard you have a novella coming out soon. What’s that about?

RK:         Ugh… it takes place is rural Alberta. Influenced by some events real, imagined, totally fake, or maybe what I wanted to happen. It’s pretty much What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with a sad ending.

SA:         I just downloaded that to watch with my wife, Rui. She grew up in China and hasn’t seen any of the Western classics. Gilbert Grape is a classic now, yes?

What’s next for you in poetry? Any idea? Anything in the works?

RK:         I’m looking for a home for an MS of poetry, another of some aphorisms, epigrams and more exophonic writing. Talking to a small press about another collection of vispo. I started another project in the summer and got to 40 pages and I’m letting it marinate for a bit before I add at least 20 more pages.

SA:         A title we should look out for?

RK:         Wild Rose Country is the novela title. Airy Nothings is the poetry MS. Some Little Pricks, is the epigrams, aphorisms & exophonic texts.

SA:         Something(s) to look forward to! Thanks a lot for taking the time for this interview. It’s been a blast.

Phon Phon can be purchased or viewed here.

Chicken Scratch can be purchased here.

Legitimizing the Small at Telling Tales Festival

Yesterday, my daughter (who is four) and I drove up to the Telling Tales Festival which was held at Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton, Ontario. This is a festival of books, readings, meet-the-author, and other entertainments (puppet shows, musical performances) for children.

I generally dislike attending festivals in the vicinity because they are mostly the same: food trucks (always the same food trucks), junk you can purchase at varying tents (always the same junk), live music (usually cover bands, nothing I personally would actively seek out) and banks and other institutions pushing themselves on you while they paint your child’s face.

The Telling Tales Festival, concentrating on literature and the performance of words, stands out. Yes, there were food trucks and junk, but there was much else, i.e. books overflowing for purchase and exchange, to far outweigh the redundancy of the typical just-something-to-do festival. Also, being held at Westfield Heritage Village, there was a historical learning experience always readily available. The staff, in full costume, were kept busy explaining settler customs and habits (at least the quotidian and inoffensive ones) by the constant stream of attendees.

Usually I wouldn’t write about such an excursion as I tend to focus on poetic events more closely related to my own writing practice. There were, I noticed, the Hamilton Youth Poets performing, which I unfortunately didn’t get to hear–but it was something else which I noticed as I listened to a few different authors speaking which prompted me to write this.


While my daughter and I were able to make it to four different readings/literary performances, it was the talks/readings of Andrew Larson who read A Squiggly Story (Kids Can Press 2016) and Ted Staunton who read Harry and Clare’s Amazing Staycation (Tundra Books 2017) which encouraged me to comment here.

Both authors, as I mentioned, read one of their recently published books to a group of children and their parents, but it was the talks they gave beforehand which I found most interesting. Each author had brought along an artifact from their youth: their first book.

Both, I believe, created in school, one in elementary, and the other, if I remember correctly, later on. Both authors, promoting reading, writing, and the accessibility of the possible, presented their DIY books of youth and spoke of how they lead and related to their current careers as authors. I easily related–I also have my first book among a huge box of old journals. Stranded, by Sacha Archer (I got a B+).20170918_113558.jpg What I appreciated most was when Larson showed a simple way to make a DIY book out of a single sheet of paper, passing on the knowledge/tools to the children (and parents) to set them on their way–and the legitimization of created works which do not enter an institution, in this case, publishing.

One of my immediate thoughts was the relation to the small press communities, zine culture, and the doors such avenues open when we realize that we don’t have to rely on the acceptance of institutions to create and share important work. How many of those children who sat right before me will grow up to write? One or two might eventually build their own small presses. Sowing the seeds. Yes, this festival was different (and no banks harangued me!).


A Studio, A Reading, and a Stop-Motion Film – A space you probably should visit.

Daniel Crawford has a studio. In this studio, Dan works on works he is working on. Dan’s works are works that if you see them you have an opinion. If you do not see them you cannot have an opinion and the opinion you do have, not having seen them, is irrelevant. One cannot have an opinion about everything. Having an opinion about Dan’s work is having seen Dan’s work and that it very. That is very and very.

I went up to Peterborough this past long weekend to participate in a reading at Dan Crawford’s Gallery in the Attic. It is a monthly event which he puts on and I would recommend, if you get the chance, or make the effort, to attend it in the future. At the moment in the studio-come-gallery are displayed works by Crawford, which to my mind are breath-taking, and in their shadow are a few pieces of my own, in great contrast to his work.

I have been to the studio twice, and nothing much had changed the second time I was there, so I am not completely sure about the depth of curatorial effort. Will there be other artists shown, or is it a space where one can glimpse the movement of the artist at work? It seems to be more of the latter, which is what an opened studio tends to be. Either way, Dan’s work is arresting. Watercolour and ink on paper, the great majority of it. It borders on outsider art, but keeps itself rooted in past masters such as Bosch, Bacon and Bruegel. It is chaos held together by a string. Cities of the organism, Dante on our streets. The paper is torn, and there is masses of it–and on that paper, endless detail, events of the parable that roar as if the frustrations of Babel could suddenly be heard clearly, all at once. Also, on smaller scale, one finds in the studio sculptures/ installations which are in place, often incorporating or in conversation with the stop-motion animation work that Crawford also creates. It is definitely worth a visit.

Not only is there art work in the studio, but each month there is a reading. Dan invited me up to read alongside two other poets, Elisha Rubicha (who, along with her partner, Justin, runs the Show and Tell Poetry Series in Peterborough) and Kathleen Adamson. Three is a nice number. The contrasts between we three readers was marked, and appreciated. Kathleen read her work, language ethereal and filled with light, while playing a dulcimer. Rubicha read a number of works, some of them centering on Roberta Bondar. As for myself, I read from my work Dishwashing Event, Part One, and also from Detour (finally having found its voice).

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There were two sets during the evening, and as people came and went from the studio, the readings found two different audiences, both of which were unmistakably engaged. Engaged might be the word which describes the night. Whether listening to the readings or speaking about the works on display, everyone who came into that studio was–engaged. Following both readings there was a screening of Crawford’s stop-motion short, The Mortal Flame. I present it here, from Crawford’s website,



Detour, A Conceptual Path to Locate

Detour, my first full-length collection, has been published by gradient press [2017]! Yes, I am happy, of course–and perhaps a few people will read it.
Written in China, during 2013, Detour is a conceptual work, a conceptual translation, of the Dao De Jing (perhaps more commonly known in the West as the Tao Te Ching, the Wade-Giles rendering of the title). As described on the back of Detour,

Dao, in the context of the Dao De Jing, is traditionally translated as the Way. This can be understood as a path (away from paths). Here, the text of the Dao De Jing has been sent on a detour through automatic internet translators. Each section of the Dao De Jing was cumulatively translated 81 times, taking a cue from the text, which has 81 sections, displaying a fidelity to the auspicious number.

I began writing Detour as a response to modern China, its cities expanding at an enormous rate, physically, buildings constructed in the blink of an eye, often largely unpopulated, ghost ships… …a pushing forward into the current economic market… …each building a sign of political virility…  malls and shops exploding with gaudy showsSDC12621 of wealth and prestige… and amongst it all, the ancient revered, a firm grasp on the past, past poets, artists, philosophers, religions. Superstition and spiritual beliefs rampant under the neon lights neon lights neon lights…
It is much the same here in Canada. I think. The thing is, take a person out of there usual context… and they might just be able to see something. We are so often blind at home. Blind to that mundanity, out of context, which allows us to see.
Really, I just wanted to create a work that could attempt to articulate the contradiction of uber-capitalism (in China it is Socialism with ‘Special Features’, which amounts to late capitalism without voting, or really, rights, which I guess is just the logical conclusion of consumerism [consuming the self]), attempt to articulate the contradiction between the soulless and the spiritual. My answer to that desire was the deforming, or regenerating, of that ancient text, the Dao De Jing, via automatic internet translators. The texts arrive at an articulation which locates us.

Detour can be ordered through

Here are a couple sections from the book:



In addition, professional associations, and the killing, the common social system risk download 310 professional soldiers and 13,310 refugees only in such a system.

Her husband, and why? Have the opportunity to create employment opportunities. Scott is a healthy, friendly, and there is a plan.

Animals from the world of the body of the ambitious use of the Grand Canyon in Cape Town. This is a very natural thing, helmets and flak jackets of the friction.

It is very difficult to come to this is armoured helmets and an armored vests and helmets, and wearing a helmet, as well as armor and helmets and flak jackets and helmets is a very difficult,

It is very difficult to very difficult to find up to the challenge, clothing is very difficult to get the weapons, but it is very difficult.

Armour, clothing, apparel and helmets and bulletproof vests and armored vehicles. helmets and flak jackets continue to exist. For example, a kimono.

Wearing of helmets and bulletproof vests and armored armored it is very difficult to very difficult problems and armoured, helmets and flak jackets, but the problem is that the Land Rover helmets, and he was the focus of fashion.

helmets and flak jackets are difficult, helmets and flak jackets, clothing, and the hard drive, there are difficulties, nausea, and I have a bulletproof vests and clothing in some helmets.

helmets and flak jackets, ponchos, and it is very difficult for wearing flak jackets. As well as constraints and difficulties, and his helmet and flak jackets cloak, it is very difficult for a helmet.

Protective clothing, and the Treatment difficulties of the Armour is a very difficult task. According to the standard version.

However, in the evening, Tiger of the animals likely to be as good a cold week treatment, he/she is in your fingers in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic of all securities.

Her husband, and why? Do not kill them.



He said that an attack, the police, the political power and political disaster, and in the entire life of the raft and the river of life and manipulation and fixed.

Because of its drinking water, the political and power politics on behalf of the front, and far-reaching sense of political crisis is a very lucky. They know what it is? A good message.

For example, killed, and for the devil filled with masamochi energy company, the company is not defense, strong, and back pain, and he was using his penis nerves around his waist, and from all walks of life, reduce paper.

But knowledge is necessary, but also bright canguan opticator Yao total and bright


Mermaids’ Death Rattle : Kai Cheng Thom Reads

I’m tired. We’re all tired. Really, I just felt like drinking a few beers and reading and writing–or even just drinking a few beers. But, I have told myself to go to more readings, to be more present, to experience more writers and to read more myself. As a result, slowly, I am achieving this.

Yesterday (which is still my today), I drove up to Welland for Poetry Takes the Nite, hosted by Taylor Peebles at the Black Sheep Lounge. It is a comfortable venue, though it doesn’t serve alcohol… …which doesn’t matter to everyone… …but I do like to have a beer or two to settle. No matter, really. A good space, a few people, decent food, and a few individuals eager to share their material. I’m not disappointed that I went.

It’s true that I tire of the confessional… …unless it is done masterfully it tends to sound like something written in high school. And it is the default. On the other hand, I appreciate the potential. And the warmth of distant bodies bewildered as myself in words.

Perhaps you think I’m an ass for not being more supportive, or for having an opinion (which I am not fully venting), and perhaps you think I am condescending saying that I appreciate the potential–but keep in mind that when I am at the readings I go to, it is mainly confessional, and within that atmosphere… …I read conceptual work to which people respond with “It was good” at best, but usually nothing at all–and I’m fine with that, or rather, I understand that. After all, we are all more equipped to respond to the confessional than we are the conceptual.


Kai Cheng Thom

Back to the the reading at the Black Sheep Lounge… The featured reader was Kai Cheng Thom who read from her novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir (Metonymy Press). A great reading. Definitely not a book I would usually pick up, but here it is beside me while I type.

If it is a memoir it is a memoir dressed in the most fabulous clothing, clothing that hugs and accentuates the naked body. I won’t summarize the story, you can read the book yourself. I generally dislike magical realism, but the situations within the novel are so absurd and yes, fierce… …and the deft, explosive reading of it… Well, I’m glad to have heard it, and I am happy to have a copy to dive into.




Title image, the dead mermaid, by Rebecca Hopple