Karma’s a critic (in this case)

In another post, recently, I wrote about the virtues of Michiko Kakutani of the NY Times -- her invisibility except where it counted most: in her reviews. But even there, she took books to task on their own terms.  She didn't make it about her. I used to edit somebody at the L.A. Times who … Continue reading Karma’s a critic (in this case)

Kakutani: The presence of absence

After Michiko Kakutani announced she was stepping down from her book critic post at the New York Times, media outlets treated it like a death. The pieces that have come out from The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Slate, etc. all have the ring of obituaries which is nice for Kakutani--she's one of those rare people … Continue reading Kakutani: The presence of absence

A collapsed sun in your pocket: The poetry of Michael Odom

I once wrote in this column that Michael Odom’s poetry reminded me in certain aspects—not in every way, of course, because he is not derivative; his voice is truly original and unique—of the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Startling imagery, unexpected words yoked together by violence, a certain defiant voice ... when I read Odom, I'm … Continue reading A collapsed sun in your pocket: The poetry of Michael Odom