Few exceptions aside, the most compelling, challenging, absorbing literary art is being produced by small presses and their respective writers. I asked a number of writers, editors, and publishers to send me a list of small press books to look out for in 2016. Below you’ll find my own list, which is informed by Kate Angus, John Cayley, Lauren Cerand, Samuel R. Delany, Rikki Ducornet, Andrew Ervin, Lily Hoang, Sean Lovelace, Scott McClanahan, Hubert O’Hearn, Jane Unrue, and Curtis White.
Below you’ll also find lists from Jeff Bursey, Tobias Carroll, Gabino Iglesias, Janice Lee, Dawn Raffel, Nick Francis Potter, John Reed, Adam Robinson, Michael Seidlinger, Terese Svoboda, Jason Teal, Angela Woodward, and Jacob Wren. All the abovementioned people are small press heroes and great writers in their own right. My thanks to all of them.
In a womb-shaped wormhole, j/j hastain examines postmodernities of gender through the central iconography of the unicorn. If a wormhole is phallic, a womb-shaped phallus situates us at the beginning of a new gendering. Here we encounter the erotic as path, as activism; birth into the new virginity. The earth moves, “a tectonic-mid,” not letting the new arise so much as a concurrency with it (17). The omen, the portent “turns psychic roughage/ into emotional and physical/ alcoves” (19). We are slowly introduced to the unicorn, not the well-known unicorn of classical myths, but as a new unicorn born out of a new site of gender depolarizations. Here we have the classical view of feminine purity mixed with the phallic horn. Amongst the multiple representations of gender depolarizations, we see the “femme swagger,” (23) “female semen,” (54) and “the vascularity of surplus/ and need” (58). How the vein is both phallic and womb-reminiscent as it carries one thing to the other is receptacle-like.
savory gelatin” (60)