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Weekend Reading: Lit Links

Sunny May days are almost here. So get out in that lawn (or gravel if you live in New Mexico) and get reading. If you are looking for some hard-hitting new books, you’re in luck: 2016’s Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced! And if that’s too tame a way to find some new titles—shhh—you might (just maybe) try going hunting for one of the world’s rising number of pirate libraries. While we are talking about the darker side of literature, read up on the resurgence of hard-boiled noir lit. For those just discovering the genre, heads up: the noir lit…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

We’ve got a lot of great links for you this week, so get comfortable and dig in! But first, some sad news. This week has seen the passing of an artistic force: musician, actor, icon Prince. Put on “Purple Rain” and reflect on this virtuoso musician’s impact on the arts and culture. Afterwards, you might decide to look forward, maybe to some new poetry. Check out Literary Hub’s “30 Poets You Should Be Reading,” including Puerto del Sol’s own, Carmen Giménez Smith. After reading these 30 great poets, you might feel heady, philosophical, asking yourself the big questions, like what…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

Spring semester is winding down (or ramping up?), and thoughts of summer are on the breeze. Let this week’s Lit Links be an inspiration for your lazy summer dreams. Need a new title, maybe from somewhere far off, like Turkey? The Man Booker International Prize has just announced its 2016 shortlist. Going further afield, read how Teju Cole learned to love a Nigerian scammer. Do you remember Rachel Dolezal? The white woman who headed the Spokane, WA chapter of the NAACP? Well, she just released a book about racial identity. And in lighter news: Kafka. No really! Kafka liked beer!…

The PdS Black Voices Series Presents: MOMTAZA MEHRI

    9/11 tastes like rice & beans (To Hawaa on the eleventh of the ninth)     This day rattles a nail along a radiator. Buses fold inwards, grief-heavy. Hayaati, you smell like burnt wires and train tickets and all that thick foreign. Samah, your youngest, copies your every move. Wraps herself in a pashmina halo. That tender age when the world is a warm lap, teasing feet into bedtimes. Send an older brother today. An ice-cream van’s tinny laugh, the slip and slide of plimsolls, and the image of a man, spitting on her open face and calling…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

We’re back after representing Puerto del Sol at the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles. So many great people. So much great writing. So much fun! First up, VIDA Women in Literary Arts has just kicked off its 2015 VIDA Count, which demographically explores women in the literary landscape and seeks to “deepen the conversation” on the current representation of women’s voices. Sharing a good book with someone is a real pleasure. Shaheryar Malik thinks so too. See how his mysterious stacks of books appear as gifts to the public and what he gets in return. Perhaps you have heard…

From the Archives: Gary Short’s “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders”

Gary Short’s poem, “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders,” appeared in the pages of Puerto del Sol‘s Summer 2004 issue. The poem begs the question “Who teaches poetry to whom?” and considers the possibility that launching balls on a playground might be just as poetic as writing similes. This piece finds the third grader latent inside each of us and tries to reignite a spark, that feeling of a pure and simple joy, that feeling that art constantly tries to recreate. But poetry might not be the grand, existential gesture that it so often seems to be. Instead, it could be…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

The 2016 AWP Conference is next week in Los Angeles! Here are some great lit links to get you stoked. March 21st was World Poetry Day. Since 1999, UNESCO has promoted poetry’s unique ability to “capture the creative spirit of the human mind.” If you missed the date, share one of your favorite poems now. Because a favorite poem says a lot about a person. Take Bill Murray. What do his favorite poems say about him? We often look for writing guidance from novelists, journalists, and poets, but what about graphic novelists? Read how Daniel Clowes, author of Ghost World,…

From the Archives: Greg Gerke’s “Third Hour of the Party”

In our Summer 2011 issue, Puerto del Sol published five short pieces by fiction writer and essayist Greg Gerke, some of which appear in his collection, My Brooklyn Writer Friend (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2015). In “Third Hour of the Party,” Gerke plays with the surrealism of falling into drunkenness out of discomfort, writing that almost-painful Tilt-a-Whirl of ever-increasing isolation into two short paragraphs. So, too, do his other short pieces capture snapshots and dioramas of our lives, lived and imagined, recalled with the dreamlike quality of memory. Greg Gerke’s fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, LA Review of Books, Kenyon Review Online, and…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another Weekend Reading! Autofiction is currently having its moment. Read how this type of novel represents the “spectacle of loneliness.” If that’s too serious for you, how about this year’s Oddest Book Title of the Year? Teaser: nudity and Nazis are involved. In 1926, Harry Houdini commissioned H. P. Lovecraft to ghostwrite a treatise on superstition. It was never finished, then lost in the mists of time. But in a typically Houdini-esque (or Lovecraftian) turn, the manuscript, The Cancer of Superstition, reemerged in a trove of magic memorabilia. This just might be the…

The PdS Black Voices Series Presents: HANIF WILLIS-ABDURRAQIB

      A Poem In Which No Black People Are Dead       here, the bouquet of bullets instead find a patch of fresh dirt and just like that, it is spring again. in this poem, I speak of the grandmother but not of time’s eager shadow reaching for her legs. instead, there is no ancestor that cannot be touched by a hand four generations younger. in this poem, we weaponize joy. gospel is sung during the week without burying anyone, because it is what the living demand. no one dead looks like anyone’s child here, because there…

Weekend Reading: Lit Links

Spring is here and the desert is coming to colorful life. Maybe not as colorful as some people’s tailgates, but still. Let Weekend Reading add some color to your life. First up, to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, take a look at this list of 33 life-altering books as chosen by the staff at VIDA Women in the Literary Arts. What does it mean for a book to be brave? Author Hanya Yanagihara explores the virtues of honesty and challenging—and maybe even upsetting—readers. But perhaps it is good to keep some things secret. Read how journals provide…

From the Archives: “Extracting Victory One Debt at a Time” by Alexander Parsons

Alexander Parsons’ story “Extracting Victory One Debt At A Time” was originally published in our Winter 2009 issue. This volume was published in memory of Puerto del Sol contributor and friend, David Foster Wallace. Parsons’ story invites us to step through a fractured mirror and into a space many of us try our hardest not to think about, the sadly heroic mind of a deluded debt collector. Parsons earned his BA at Wesleyan University, an MFA at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an MA from New Mexico State University. Formerly an editor and freelance writer in New York, Washington D.C., and South America, his first novel,…