To View Again; Re-view; Review

Thanks to John Madera and his editorial guidance and friendly networking, I have had the luck and pleasure of expanding out into the literary world to review books.

This month two of my book reviews have published.

The first was my review of George Rabasa’s The Wonder Singer (Unbridled Books, May 2009) in New Pages.

The second was my review of Michael Kriesel’s poetry chapbook Moths Mail the House (sunnyoutside, 2008) in The Chapbook Review.

Every time I sit down to write about someone’s work I constantly find myself stuck for about a day, unsure of what to write, of what to say, of how to say it. Not whether I liked it or hated it. Not why I feel the way that I do. These are the easy answers. But instead it’s how to navigate the page. They are not the best and as I have told John already, he is a FAR superior reviewer than I. However, there is a beautiful balance I find in stepping over the line to the other side, seeing fiction and poetry through the eyes of the objective.

I have a few books in my stack left to review: a chapbook, a new blockbuster, and a collection of short stories.

Keep on.


About J. R. Angelella

J. R. Angelella is the author of the popular debut novel ZOMBIE: A NOVEL (Soho Press) and a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology WHO DONE IT? (Soho Teen), benefiting the nonprofit organization 826NYC. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Sou’wester, JMWW, The Collagist, Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal and The Nervous Breakdown. His short story “Sauce” won the 2012 Short Story Contest held by The Coachella Review. He received a BA in English Literature from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He taught creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City and currently teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, the writer Kate Angelella.
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