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A Matter of Control

- By DeMisty D. Bellinger

Toxic relationships abound in Cherish Farrah, but the rub is not knowing which relationship to watch out for. Bethany C. Morrow’s second novel for adults addresses classism and racism, as well as families and friendships. It’s a slow burn from page one and ends in discomfort for all.

Like Mem, Morrow’s first novel, Cherish Farrah is beautifully written, with poetic language and passages full of vivid, intricate imagery. Unlike Mem, her newest novel puts race in the forefront. Cherish and Farrah are two Black teenage girls in a predominately white and very wealthy neighborhood. Cherish’s parents, Jerry and...


The Birth of an Author

- By Michael Thurston

A Review of Hank Drossel. Item: Regarding the Basilisk. SYOM Press, 2022. ix+187 pp.

Hank Drossel worked for decades as the travel agent and logistics manager for various arts institutions, especially music ensembles. From a perch at Eastern Airlines, he supported Cold War-era “hearts and minds” tours: avant-garde artists and groups performing American freedom for audiences behind the Iron Curtain. When both the Cold War and Eastern fell to the global domination of finance capitalism, Drossel worked freelance for art collectives, small orchestras, and early music ensembles, overseeing travel arrangements, venue bookings, contract riders, and the packing and transportation of priceless instruments. He often traveled with his clients to make sure that musicians...


Florida Beach 4-Pack #1

- By Marsha Bryant

There will never be an end
To this droning of the surf.
—Wallace Stevens, “Fabliau of Florida”

As Spring breakers, vacationers, snowbirds
Hit the beaches of Florida, these words
In my limericks here
Are to recommend beers
For your forthcoming excursions seaward.

From the Gulf and Atlantic-side makers
Of craft brews that pair well with breakers
(And the sunshine and shore),
I’ve selected these four
For all bona fide beach beer partakers.


Beach Blonde Ale, an approachable brew,
Is a beach blanket starter for you.
And a tease of the tang
In its finish will hang
On the tip of your tongue. Citrine hued.


When the ocean’s your...


Learning History Through the Lens of Sport

- By Mark Gorman

Sporting events—like tragic accidents or illnesses, early friendships, or financial crises—are ubiquitous human experiences. Many, maybe most of us suffered through team sports as kids, a few excelling, others turning towards books or the arts or still other fields of competition. Many, maybe most of us also became sports fans, our fascination with the spectacle and affiliations with our teams providing lifelong fun and a comfortable foundation for bar talk and bragging rights.

Professional team allegiances are familial, transgenerational, and tend to stick with us wherever we go, like an accent. When I moved from Detroit to the Northeast, I noted how whole sections of the country seem cut up into regional sports affiliations (Maine is clearly aligned with Boston,...


A Review of An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

- By Students of Hampshire College

A Review of Kyle T. Mays, An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States. Beacon Press, 2021

This book review was written as a part of Black Natives: Anti-Blackness, Indigeneity, and Decolonization, a course at Hampshire College which focused on Afro-Indigenous scholarship and lived experiences, engaged through discussion, readings and guest speakers. Class members include: Nathacha Almanzar, Jo Ballard, Robert Caldwell (professor), Charles Dent, Shanti Franzoni, Ben Grady, Claire Guillemin, Quinlyn Holder, Anya Krouse, Cassandra C. Linder, Jaclyn Matellian, Kameron Morgan, Cole Richards, Amerah Sawadogo, Sophia...

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