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Steven Karl’s Best of 2009

Here’s a makeshift list for 09.

2009 was a great year for chapbooks.  A couple of presses released multiple titles that I devoured such as BraveMenPress which released Janaka Stucky’s Your Name Is The Only Freedom, Chris Toneli’s No Theater, and Julia Cohen’s For The H In Ghost.

As always, Octopus Books came on strong with Shane McCrae’s One Neither One and C.D. Wright’s 40 Watts.

Angela Veronica Wong went for doubles with All The Little Red Girls (Flying Guillotine Press) and to know this (Cy Gist Press).

The New School Chapbook Series released Christie Ann Reynolds’s idiot heart and Birds of Lace released Niina Pollari’s Fabulous Essential.

Thomas Fink’s Generic Whistle-Stop (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs) and Mathias Svalina’s Play (the cupboard) were both amazing, and early in ’09 Justin Mark’s Voir Dire (Rope-a-Dope) dazzled me.

Three e-chaps that come to mind are Brooklyn Copeland’s Reunions (Blue Hour Press), Ben Mirov’s Collected Ghost (H_NGM_N) and Abraham Smith’s Take 11 Wolf Teeth and Call Me In The Morning (Scantily Clad Press).

As far as music goes, I enjoyed The Antlers’ Hospice, Asobi Seksu’s Asobi Seksu, From Monument to Masses’ On Little Known Frequencies and Yo La Tengo’s Popular Songs.

I didn’t see enough movies but I’m going to go mainstream and admit that I liked Star Trek and I also enjoyed Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Steven Karl is the author of State(s) of Flux, a collaborative chapbook with the artist, Joseph Lappie (Peptic Robot Press, 2009) and forthcoming chapbooks, (Ir)Rational Animals (Flying Guillotine Press) and Saturday(s) (Scantily Clad Press). He lives in New York City and likes coffee a lot.

  • John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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