by Maggie Block
“Rad Books for Rad Kids” is the Emerald’s spin on a book review column featuring South End librarian Maggie Block’s analysis of youth literature through a radical lens.
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is the single most underappreciated book of 2015. Silvera invites us into a perfectly described world, with an astoundingly complex and beautiful cast of characters, and a subject so contemporary and familiar that somehow manages to tell a completely unique story. How it didn’t rack up every YA award and prize imaginable, I cannot tell you. Continue reading Rad Books for Rad Kids: Self Discovery, Sci-Fi & Struggle in “More Happy Than Not”
by Greg Bem
Once in a while a book of poetry comes along that makes me remember poetry, and Poetry, is about life: a celebration of life and an introspection of life. Paul E. Nelson’s new book, American Sentences, is the latest iteration of this acknowledgment and remembrance of “verse” as beyond bland conception, beyond academic coldness, beyond 21st century disembodied robotism. And, as with similar titles I have encountered over the years, I too welcomingly hold Nelson’s work by my side while upholding a wide grin. Continue reading Review: Paul Nelson’s American Sentences
by Maggie Block
“Rad Books for Rad Kids” is the Emerald’s new spin on a book review column featuring South End librarian Maggie Block’s analysis of youth literature through a radical lens.
So, the first book I wanted to recommend to the Emerald’s readership is Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. This book busts expectations of Afro-Latino representations in YA fiction every possible way. I mean, just look at that cover. It is so refreshing to see a teen novel with a beautiful young woman who has dark skin and natural hair taking up the entire cover! And that’s all before you even glance at the first page. Continue reading Rad Books for Rad Kids: Conjuring Friendly Spirits and Exposing Privilege in “Shadowshaper”
by Dominique Scalia
Since I finished reading Eli Sanders’ While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness, I have recommended it and tried to describe it to several people. In doing so, I keep falling back on this over-simplification: “it’s humanizing,” I say. I struggle to say what I mean. Continue reading Book Review: While the City Slept
by Reagan Jackson (painting by Mickey Schilling)
There was a problem.
Though no one saw him
or the dam itself,
there was the indisputable evidence
of unusually high water levels at the project site.
15 city employees with billable hours
to 5 separate government agencies
formed a coalition to discuss in depth
the problem of the Beaver.
Continue reading Sunday Stew: The Problem of the Black Girl and The Beaver
by Reagan Jackson
If you haven’t gotten your sugar fix yet, you have a few more days to purchase a “Seattle Sweeties” cupcake from Cupcake Royale. With your purchase of any of the six new flavors, Choco-latte, Vanilla Dream, Chai Cinnamon, Caramel Delight, Lemon Cherry Blosson, and Banana Cream, a portion of the proceeds will go to Runway to Freedom. Continue reading Seattle Sweeties: Cupcakes, Women, Hip Hop, and the Fight Against Domestic Violence
by Robert Zverina
It was one of those crisp, brilliant Pacific Northwest fall days that made Jim glad to be back on the mainland after two years on Maui. Yeah, Hawai’i is great, but you just don’t get those kinds of days there and he missed them. Besides, the Northwest was his home and it made him feel good in a certain way that no other place ever would. It was where he was formed, its air and light bound up with his being on a cellular level. Continue reading Sunday Stew: The More Things Change
by Celia Y. Weisman
The radio is on and the little girl walks into the kitchen. Her mother, back to the kitchen doorway, is actually sitting at the kitchen table. This is strange, because the mother rarely would sit down, especially on a Sunday morning with all the kids at home. And even more oddly, the girl discovers when she comes closer, the mother is weeping. Continue reading Sunday Stew: Birmingham Sunday in New York City
by Marcus Harrison Green (Painting: The Long Goodbye by Don Perino)
There are days so unbelievably perfect that if life just relented a little in hoarding them there would never exist a reason to do drugs. From sunrise to the yellow orb’s setting, what usually exist as fantasy or chemically enhanced delusion is somehow suffused into your life. For one day all your desires are accommodated. Your heart brims. Your belly burst. And laughter is played on a loop. Those days are ones you wish you could bottle portions of to spray as needed when the fetid aroma from the vast majority of 24 hour increments we experience surfaces to life. Continue reading Sunday Stew: The Language of Love