Peach Picks: What to Read This Week
Last week on Peach we featured “The Green Breast of the New World Is in Allentown,” a new poem from Buffalo-based poet and playwright Justin Karcher. This poem feels very timely in light of the recent launch of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s LIT CITY initiative; as Karcher’s narrator sets out at the beginning of the poem to find F. Scott Fitzgerald’s childhood Buffalo home, I’m reminded of the many walks in this city that are steeped in rich literary history. As an offering to this lineage, Karcher writes, “I grew even more restless / And decided to build a boat out of other men’s eyes. / I sailed across an ocean looking for things / That only I could see.”
Yesterday we featured the poem, “excellent salt,” by Carrie Laski, a writer from Chicago who is currently based in Austin. The poem is gritty and rhythmic and gratifyingly unsettling. Laski’s lines are wrought with an increasing sense of calm doom, reaching a crescendo in the gorgeous final stanza: “wish everyone / would melt down their / goddamn pearls / and turn them to / words / that sound like the sky.”
IN PRINT & ONLINE:
An exciting new addition to the online literary world is the recent second issue of Bad Nudes, a litmag based in Montreal edited by writers Fawn Parker and Thomas Molander. Bad Nudes 2.1 features a beautiful sampling of the poetry and fiction that is coming out right now from rising authors in the contemporary Canadian literary scene alongside work from writers living in many other corners of the world. The new issue was released in time for the stunning redesign of their website, which has been constructed to resemble the desktop of a Windows 95 computer, complete with Recycle Bin and Start icons, ensuring the browsing of the new issue to be a truly unique user experience. Where else would you keep your nudes, after all, but on the computer.
The print issue of Bad Nudes 2.1 was released in three separate booklets, each carefully curated to express its own distinct personality. In 2.1.3 are two new poems from Sofia Banzhaf, a Toronto-based writer and actor, and author of Pony Castle, which won the Metatron Prize in 2015. Her poem, “Blue Flowers,” is fiercely soft and resonant; Banzhaf writes, “i lie very still on the bed while my husband is sleeping / he likes that i would be lost without him / what kind of love is that.” Another poem that struck me was Lucas Regazzi’s “Swimming Lessons,” the final poem in booklet 2.1.2, and in only four lines, echoes like an epilogue. “They say home / is within—and how deep?” writes Regazzi. “I am made of water. / I cannot swim.”
“Peach Picks” is a new column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo, New York. For inquiries, contact Rachelle at email@example.com.