“Apocalypse How? An Existential Bestiary” by Adrienne Celt

This book is about as offbeat as it gets. Apocalypse How? sits somewhere between Beckett, Sartre, and an Aardman Animations cartoon, and the good news is it’s brilliant. The book consists of stand-alone cartoon strips,¬†four panels each, starring all the animals of the ark. The twist is that they talk and think as if they’re…

“Another Door Calls” by Elise Stuart

Elise Stuart’s debut collection shimmers in the rain, gets snagged on the cholla, frees itself in the night winds, and goes rolling down a flooded arroyo. This terrific collection couldn’t have been written anywhere but New Mexico, Stuart’s spiritual home. Her familial roots lie elsewhere, but her narrative voice and sensibility reside firmly in the…

“We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States” by Thomas Linzey and Anneke Campbell

“Communities are saying to the government and corporations, “We’re no longer willing to be fracked, poisoned and polluted.” They are mobilizing against a system of law that empowers corporations over communities … Communities are saying this is not acceptable, it’s not sustainable, it’s not democratic, and it’s going to change.” (Chad Nicholson, consultant for Grant…

“The Football Factory” – by John King

John King’s novel was first published in the UK twenty years ago. It has recently been reissued by PM Press in a handsome and suitably eye-catching edition for North American readers. Curious then that the title remains The Football Factory, because Americans think football is a game with helmets and and padding. More curious to…

“Europe in Revolt” – edited by Catarina Principe and Bhaskar Sunkara

On the long political journey we call history, Europe has crossed a bridge and lurched right. It isn’t alone. Barack Obama’s presidency – nominally to the left of center – has seen assassinations by drone, more deportations than any president in history, the failure to close Guant√°namo, and not a single Wall Street banker prosecuted…

“Notes on the Assemblage” by Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is a protean figure, a one-man dynamo: an actor, activist, professor, musician, author of thirty books, and now the first Latino Poet Laureate of the United States. His personal story is extraordinary. His parents were migrant workers, constantly on the move across California. He found an alternative path when he won a…

The Perfect Book for Labor Day

“Work. Capitalism. Economics. Resistance.” is a strikingly original book. For a start, it’s written by CrimeThinc. ex-Workers’ Collective. Secondly, its introduction (which is not called an introduction; actually, it’s not called anything) claims: “this book isn’t just an attempt to describe reality but also a tool with which to change it … What qualifies us…

Rapture – by Sjohnna McCray

McCray’s themes in this first poetry collection are desire, identity and memory. He excavates his past and dredges up images and motifs that form a personal mythology. Many of the poems seem autobiographical. There is a particular focus on the imperfections of the human body: the stump of a father’s amputated leg; “flabby buttocks” and…