Lauren Belski, Whatever Used to Grow Around Here
This was a weird year. I stopped being social and sort of turned in, spending most of 2012 with my head tucked down, writing, teaching, or hiding from the world. I was also reading books—but most of them, I have realized, were not published in the last year (which is no surprise to me because I am at least a year behind—developmentally and otherwise). Somehow, though, despite all of my attempts at being a writer-funk, recluse, when I look back on the year I also realize I managed to cross paths with, befriend, and read some pretty awesome Brooklyn writers. Drum roll please:
Walk Back From Monkey School, Kate Hill Cantrill
Ladies, especially writer/artist ladies (and gentlemen, too): you know how when you are doing something naughty, how while you are in the act of doing it there is also another girl, a narrator, sort of describing the moment to you in your head? That narrator girl is Kate Hill Cantrill, and she is singing our lives to us beautifully.
The Narrows by m. craig
Ok, this one technically came out in 2011, but I met m. craig and got her book this past year, and it is a steampunk voyage into a magic Bushwick, and there is lesbian romance in it, and crazy old dudes who like to fix things, and drugs and alcohol go by different more intoxicating names like “pixie pollen.” Also, Papercut Press rules! Look for edgy stuff from them in the future.
the small plot beside the ventriloquist’s grave: poems by Terence Degnan
These words are unpretentious and straight from the heart. If you’re lucky you’ll see them delivered at some point or another, perhaps at a Rabbit Tales Salon. “In utopia,” one of Degnan’s poems says, “we are drinking/Shaefer from a can/your heart is good/the waitress is in love/no need for refills”—’nuff said.