Category Archives: Books We Like

Hannah Emerson Poetry Reading

About This Event

Please join the Creative Writing Program in welcoming Hannah Emerson for a Zoom poetry reading on Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30pm. As Hannah is nonspeaking, her work will be read by current and former Miami students and by Aviv Rosenzweig. A Q&A with Hannah will follow, hosted by faculty poet Cathy Wagner.

Hannah Emerson is a nonspeaking autistic poet whose work has been featured in Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, BOMB, the Poetry Society of America, Literary Hub, and Brooklyn Rail. She is the author of the collection of poems The Kissing of Kissing (2022) from Milkweed’s Multiverse series. She lives in Lafayette, New York.

Hannah’s work will be performed by Aviv Rosenzweig and others. A Q&A with Hannah Emerson will follow, hosted by Professor Cathy Wagner.

The event will be on Zoom. Please register here:

The Importance and Impact of Research on Fictional and Historical Fiction Works

By: Marin Thurmer

Back in November, I was pleased to meet one of Dr. TaraShae Nesbitt’s colleagues from graduate school, Dr. Shena McAuliffe, who currently teaches fiction at Union College in New York and visited Miami university classes and did a reading. Being a creative writing undergrad myself, along with other peers sitting around me, I felt the group’s anticipation to be introduced to McAuliffe’s particular style of research that contributes to her writing, mainly nonfiction and historical fiction works. The book in question: The Good Echo! This narrative doesn’t obey traditional schemes of narration, with the keystone of the work being a posthumous narration from the perspective of a dead son, just twelve years old when he succumbed to an infection in his root canal, which his father performed the fatal surgery on before his death.

Continue reading

Madman by Tracy Groot Review & Recommendation

By: Alayna Cowden

As a person who, admittedly, shies away from things labeled “historical fiction” and worse, “Christian fiction,” I can’t deny that I felt a little apprehensive in starting this book. Would it be corny and preachy? Would Jesus be portrayed in a way that isn’t accurate or seems pushy?

Hence, it took me a while to muster up the courage to read Madman. Also, I’ve never really read anything that expressly dealt with things like demons or capital “E” Evil, so I had my reservations. However, I was horribly wrong about this book. It defied every expectation I had about what modern literature should do – and more so, what the function of something labeled “Christian fiction” should do.

Continue reading

Appreciation: Rae Armantrout’s “Bardos,” by Trevor Root

National Poetry Month 2020

Rae Armantrout, a San Diego native famous for her terse, funny, brainy poems, visited Miami to read from her poems last April. Thanks to generous funding from the Clark Capstone Fund, Armantrout was in Oxford for several days to visit classes and meet with students for individual conferences. Author of over ten collections of poetry and a memoir, Armantrout won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for her 2009 book Versed.

Miami MFA student Trevor Root is a fan of Armantrout’s mercurial, skeptical style. Thanks to Trevor for contributing the following appreciation of Armantrout’s poem “Bardos” to the blog:

Continue reading

Books We Love: Lady Bird Screenplay

Lady Bird is quite simply the quintessence of adolescence. Written by American actress, writer, and director Greta Gerwig, this screenplay tells the story of a tirelessly working family while exploring the often young and turbulent relationship between mother and daughter. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, it would go on to receive awards for its writing and filmmaking. Gerwig’s script meets, falls short of, and exceeds a number of expectations. Through conflict driven by pure heart and angst, Lady Bird takes us through the obstacles of growing up, only to find peace, identity, and perhaps a dose of wisdom on the other side. Continue reading

A Conversation with MU Press Novella Prize Winner Paul Skenazy

To promote his novella “Temper CA,” published Jan. 2019 by Miami University Press, author Paul Skenazy sat down with Sam Keeling, a Creative Writing and Media & Culture major and Editorial Intern for the Press. Their discussion covered everything from Skenazy’s writing rituals (or lack thereof) to the nature of truth and memory. For more on the novella, read this article from The Miami Student Continue reading

Books We Love: Human Acts

Han Kang’s Human Acts, in translation by Deborah Smith, is an exercise in memory and postmemory, a necessarily brutal rendering of trauma and its complex relationship with time and language. In this 2017 novel, which inhabits the framework of real historical occurrences, Han employs strikingly human voices (including her own) to recall the loss of a young boy’s life during the Gwangju Uprising of 1980. Each chapter steps forward in time to visit another life that struggles to understand its own living after this death. The Gwangju Uprising itself was an occasion of death, a violent ten days that saw Gwangju citizens organizing themselves against South Korean national military forces who had killed local university students protesting against the looming Chun Doo-Hwan dictatorship. The death toll is still unknown, recently placed by a BBC News report as somewhere “between one and two thousand.” These murdered bodies are where Han begins, a viscerally overwhelming motif in the novel’s first chapter, illustrating the magnitude of tragedy that Han proceeds to slice slowly into, so that the reader bares and must bear the buried bones of human cruelty with each chapter. Continue reading