Old Pal Recommends

Literature and Art We Love



Have you heard the good news of N.H. Pritchard? Sparse, compressed, visual, sonic, inventive, mysterious. His books are out of print, but you can read digital copies of The Matrix and EECCHHOOEESS via online archive.  


I was delighted to read Lilli Carre’s Heads or Tails on a cold, grey afternoon when the grief of the day had me particularly exhausted. Carre’s gorgeous and charming graphic short fiction explores themes of disorientation, alternative realities and “extreme ambivalence” in this darkly funny collection. A perfect comfort food for the perpetually uncomfortable.


Floating In The Space Between by Terrance Hayes; Moby Dick by Herman Melville; Heavy by Kiese Laymon; Lana Turner Journal; the poetry of Charles Olson (Maximus Poems or The Distances); The Master Letters or Stay, Illusion by Lucie Brock-Broido; the work of photographer/artist Moyra Davey and Commune Magazine.  Also: Victoria beer, all the bananas & Tony's Chocolate :)


Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The Brick House (Awst Press) is a short story collection of varying lengths and tones, which explores the dream inducing rooms of the collection’s namesake and the minds of those sleeping within them with poetic prose that expertly stretches symbolic imagery across quick sentences and narratives that stayed percolating in the back of my mind. Also stuck in my mind are two publications from Haymarket Books, a radical, independent, nonprofit publisher from Chicago founded in 2001, Rebecca Solnit’s Call Them by Their True Names (2018), a hopeful essay collection on our contemporary crises, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (2017), a collection of interviews with Combahee River Collective founding members and contemporary activists reflecting on Black feminism and today’s struggles, together these books are providing a much-needed, insightful education and inspiring paths forward.

Check out our joint project, Literary Portland, an ever-growing calendar of events!