Last Friday at Peach we published the short story, “Surprise View,” by Oscar d’Artois, an American writer from Paris, France, and author of the book of poems, Teen Surf Goth (Metatron Press, 2015). Without offering commonplace resolve, “Surprise View” is a portrait of finding meaning in the face of disillusionment. After traveling with his partner to visit nearby estate ruins, the protagonist catches himself appreciating the alliteration of a signpost more than the historic surroundings it describes. Frustrated, he thinks to himself, “I want to be up to feeling the feelings that the surprise view is supposed to inspire.” The story is d’Artois’s prose debut, though rumor has it that he’s currently working on a memoir called Ramen in which he explores themes of sexuality, obsession, and the commodification of the body.
IT FELT LIKE WORSHIP by Francesca Kritikos
Sad Spell Press, 2017
Out now from Sad Spell Press is IT FELT LIKE WORSHIP, Francesca Kritikos’s debut chapbook of poetry in which she gauges life through the lens of womanhood. With glamour that’s got an edge to it, Kritikos explores the intersection of temptation and guilt, all while examining the kind of conventional femininity that includes Maybelline, high heels, and an alleged heritage of concurrent obedience and deceit. In “This is Hardcore,” she writes, “something’s missing/ in me/ but when I’m draped/ in silk/ i can’t remember/ what.” The poems in IT FELT LIKE WORSHIP are alluring—at times even coquettish—as Kritikos makes sense of female friendships, religion’s legacy of failure, and the pornstar-homemaker binary.
IN PRINT + IN TOWN:
The Neighborhood by Dan McKeon
Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective Press, 2017
A couple weekends ago marked the release of local poet Dan McKeon’s new chapbook, The Neighborhood, published and handmade by Buffalo’s own Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective Press. In the surrealist prose poems of The Neighborhood, McKeon maps out some of the issues our so-called New Buffalo faces, such as gentrification and the rising cost of rent and real estate. Encouraged yet unconvinced by proclamations of Buffalove, they use the geography of the city as a jumping off point to reveal what often lurks amid fresh paint and pavement. As McKeon explores what’s underneath these narratives of progress, they likewise investigate mental illness and what’s beneath their own paneling. The Neighborhood is a book about damage and neglect, and warns us that where there’s fire, there might not always be smoke.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.