No prerequisites needed: A review of ‘Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic’

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by APRIL’s Frances Dinger

This book is brief, but in a pleasant, breathless sort of way. And, despite what the title would suggest, it doesn’t require any background in Heideggerian philosophy but a cursory understanding of Marx does enhance the reading experience.

Regarded by some as a South American Howl, Papasquiaro’s book deftly confronts the collision of working class culture and high art.

His juxtapositions are often both comical and poignant: “& all because you need to you’re desperate to let go & cry openly / with nobody & nothing to interrupt you / not even those chicks in hot pants … / & you’re not the only 1 who claims to be the only passenger / on his schizophrenic submarine”

For Papasquiaro, the personal is political at the same time that the individual is entirely singular but also just a part of a larger social structure entirely out of their control. This is the kind of poetry you want to read in a rage against injustice, or hungover, or heartbroken. 

In brief, this is the perfect summer poetry book because it lets you choose your level of engagement. Enjoy the ride of the language or engage with the political subtext. Either way will honor this book.

But that is enough from 1 person with 1 opinion. Grab a cold beer or iced coffee, sit on a stoop and read this book. 

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Buy Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic here.

My burrito, her syntax: a review of Lynn Melnick’s IF I SHOULD SAY I HAVE HOPE

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by Tara Atkinson, APRIL Managing Director

I thought about the syntax of the phrase If I Should Say I Have Hope for so long, before and after reading the book. There’s plenty of word play in the collection, but the title captured me most.

It’s not the question “Should I have hope” or “Do I have hope” or “Is there hope”, but “If I should say,” maybe not even a question, but the dependent clause of an if/then statement, the first half of a syllogism — “If I should say I have hope, then what?” Or it’s a to-do list.

I have lists of shoulds like this: I wonder if I should take time to travel, if I should quit my job, if I should reheat this burrito in the oven or the microwave. A “because” (a then) is implied in every should, but why is usually self-evident. But it is not evident in Lynn Melnick’s poems why the speaker should say they have hope. The book is not a journey from hopelessness to hope; the final sentence (another “if/then” statement) is not exactly redeeming, but ambiguous: “If you had told me… // that the light hitting the sickly coral of the beach hotels / could travel further inland / and all the way east to find me, // …I might have hastened from my ambush / angling upward to the moon, / black and gravitational” (“Wallflower”). The light has reached her, but if she’d known it was coming she would have become a dark spot on the moon; dawn, but complicated, because it happens to you, in spite of you, from the natural and indifferent rotation of the earth: should I say that’s hope?

But if I wanted to make a statement about hope, what could I or anyone say without jumping to abstractions about human nature, Life, Love, etc., statements general and somewhat false-ringing? If I wanted, instead of repeating the traditional litanies I accept when I need them, to offer an honest statement about hope based in the evidence of my lived experience?  Then I guess I’d acknowledge that hope is a thing we choose to say and break my life into lines detailed, specific, intimate, realistically ambiguous. I guess I’d write Lynn Melnick’s book If I Should Say I Have Hope.

I thought this thesis of hope-as-a-thing-we-say was depressing at first, but then I remembered it’s Poetry Month, and I acknowledge this holiday month and take particular pleasure in reading poetry at this time because I think words are powerful. (And now have I said that if you like to read poetry you have hope?— )

“Yes I knew better then; // yes I didn’t” (“Lagoon”) If I Should Say I Have Hope answers the question of its title in these kinds of contradictions. We’re not such good assessors of our current state anyway — “You wouldn’t know happy if it kissed you on the mouth” (“Of Being Lost Forever”); “I must have walked because I am still walking” (“These Pretty Years”). It’s this uncertainty and specificity I appreciate the most about these poems. If I Should Say I Have Hope is an action shot, not a still life, full of the drama of motion, appropriate to the season.

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Get If I Should Say I Have Hope from YesYes Books here.

"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!
More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)
Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!

More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)

Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"Pitchers have their superstitions and I have my honesty to consider"—from "Ichiro Flies Out to West," commissioned by Richard Hugo House from Ed Skoog. Commission your own Reverse Fan Mail and get not just a great opening line like that, but a whole poem of them! Check out this appropriately holiday-themed by Ed, too: "The Carolers," in Poetry Magazine.

Ed Skoog is the author of two books of poetry, MISTER SKYLIGHT (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and ROUGH DAY (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).


"…you are not her, though I call you you // like I called her you. And perhaps I shouldn’t / but I do" —in an excerpt published in Pinwheel from Rich’s chapbook The Great Poem of Desire (Poor Claudia). A poem about a woman in a dress in Guernica is good for heart-throbbing, too.

Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire and Other Poems, published by Poor Claudia. His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, City Arts Magazine, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Mike Young and Megan Kaminiski will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"…I won’t explain, / not in the face of your expensive research and cheap / buses, not without a draft from your snowplow driver’s / early bourbon, not unless I’m allowed to debut the great / Hawaiian shirt of my intuition that suggests I call your / bullshit" —from Mike Young’s poem "What I’ve Learned from Sleeping in New England" in Sixth Finch. Read a great short story by Mike in Hobart if you want to see his other side.

Mike Young is the author of the story collection Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot 2010) and two books of poems: We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius 2010) and Sprezzatura (Publishing Genius 2014). He edits NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, writes for HTMLGIANT, and lives in Northampton, MA. Find him online at http://mikeayoung.tumblr.com.


"Down south the coastline crunches / rock-strewn wind-buried sand-showering / 
faces squinting eyes into secret coves / I have secrets too”—
from"Coast" published on Coconut. A convenient list of more poetry, some essays, even some videos on Megan’s website.

Megan Kaminski is the author of Desiring Map (Coconut Books, 2012) and six chapbooks of poetry, most recently This Place(Dusie, 2013) and Gemology (LRL Textile Editions, 2012). She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she teaches poetry at the University of Kansas and curates the Taproom Poetry Series.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Mark Leidner and Tessa Hulls will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"It’s difficult to say / who makes loves to whom / in these times." —how one poem by Mark Leidner (found here, at Action Yes, among others) ends. Check out five more at La Petite Zine, too.

Mark Leidner is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011). He lives in Atlanta and writes at twitter.com/markleidner.


"I am calling off an engagement. And I am doing it over the phone. While illegally camped in a cow pasture. In west Texas. With toilet paper shoved in my ears to drown out the passing semi trucks. And I keep having to kick my tent walls to scare these damn curious cows away." —Tessa Hulls presents an exploration of personal experience in art and down time in the creative process (as explained by hair ties!) and passes out candy at Seattle’s wonderful interdisciplinary reading series, Breadline.  A whole portfolio and blog of her illustrations and writing on her website, tessahulls.com.


Tessa Hulls is a restless artist/writer/adventurer who collects creative mediums as other members of her gender collect shoes. She works as a painter, cartoonist, essayist, performance-slideshowist, drawer, instigator, interviewer, muralist, bike mechanic, saboteur, feminist, sociologist, cartographer, illustrator, and chef. She is a voracious reader, and frequently finds herself surrounded by poets. When not frenetically project hopping in Seattle, Tessa enjoys traveling alone on her bicycle through remote landscapes, and testing the limits of her own capacity for isolation. She plans to spend a good chunk of 2014 working in Denali National Park in Alaska, and she is (very slowly) working on a non-fiction graphic novel about living in Antarctica.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Jac Jemc and Matthew Rohrer will write you a Reverse Fan Mail! 


This must have been a reasonless act of love and I had come home late, hadn’t called.”check out an excerpt from Jac’s award-winning novelMy Only Wife or this story about answering the door when you’re not expecting anyone.

Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. Her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time, is due out in October 2014.


"It was a good day and I was about to do something important
and good, but then I unscrewed the pen I was using”

—read Precision German Craftmanship by Matthew Rohrer, the author of seven books of poetry, most recently DESTROYER AND PRESERVER, published by Wave Books. 

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Reverse Fan Mails are back!

'Reverse Fan Mail' is a special way that APRIL thanks its donors while connecting authors and readers at the same time.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

This year’s Reverse Fan Mails will be mailed in time for Valentine’s Day so you can send one to your sweetie.

Reverse Fan Mail authors include Jac Jemc, Matthew Rohrer, Stacey Levine, Ed Skoog, Joshua Beckman, Mark Leidner, Ryan Boudinot, Rebecca Bridge,Wendy Xu, Jane Wong, Rich Smith, Ted Powers, Peter Mountford, Drew Swenhaugen, Mike Young, Amber Nelson, Megan Kaminski, Richard Chiem, Matthew Simmons, and Doug Nufer.

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"Fauns are always drunk": November’s book club art pairing


Last Sunday, APRIL’s Book Club met again, this time to discuss Daniel Bailey’s THE DRUNK SONNETS.  Many members elected to enjoy a beer in the Frye’s courtyard (as the book clearly demands.) APRIL’s Frances Dinger paired “Drunk Sonnet 19” with “Fighting Fauns” by Franz von Stuck. “Drunk Sonnet 19” has a lot of fight in it and, as Frances mentioned “fauns are always drunk.”

Below: Franz von Stuck’s “Fighting Fauns,” currently on display at the Frye Art Museum.  











THE DRUNK SONNETS was the second book in the Fall Series of the APRIL Book Club. You can learn more about the APRIL Book Club on our website