Henry writes with a blend of poignant humor and sadness about the fundamental fact that we are not in control of our lives and that forces we do not fully understand compel us to do the things we do. — Neal S. Burdick
Coming in 2019 from Ra Press — Letters (1855)
Follow James and Sadie Grey, separated by one crisis after another as James is called to a difficult birth, before being summoned north to The Hollow, a haven for young girls who suffer a variety of traumas, to investigate a rash of mysterious 'faintings.' At home, Sadie cares for patients and the practice, and encounters several mysteries of her own, including a hidden pregnancy, a fake birth, and a mistaken baby, who vanishes after a mishap at the county fair when a lantern tips during a Fox sisters' séance.
Perhaps my favorite poem in the book is called "Lisp." It seems to be quoting from an unidentified source talking about the creation of a pure mode of communication, mentioning Marconi, Turing and the DNA code. But over the course of the poem, the lines morph in the inevitable small ways in which all communication manages to fail us. The poem seems to undo itself into meaninglessness - until you realize that if read downward, you encounter the first words uttered over the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, which are - ironically, I've always thought - "Watson, come quick I need you." — Marilyn McCabe
A great book that hits many odd and dark notes. The typography and design pose even more of a challenge than a Kenneth Patchen affair yet the struggle is worth it. Children turn into lagoons, a lover's bathrobe is obsessively described, mannequins take over an apartment, a doctor prescribes jasmine pills, eccentric diners are jilted, the elderly advise about hot rods and going blind. Odd premises abound: "There had been a girl on the beach whose lungs were so powerful she'd moved the ocean from their towel on the sand. She'd inhale, exhale, inhale, and so set the rhythm of the waves with her diaphragm." The oddity is stepped into so naturally and with such a wealth of carefully observed detail that one is swept along. I'd compare it to Brian Evenson's work, though it consists of generally more fragmented tales that have a voice all their own. — Matthew D. Jasper
There had been winter. There had been spring. Then there was summer and evening and night and the overture of crickets on the wind. There were the thrums of bullfrogs and the thumps of crows' wings and the invisible scrapes and rustles and hushes and the popping of snow fleas.
Current work includes a project on Percival Wilde (1887-1953), an American writer of one-act plays, novels, screen adaptations, and children’s plays; and another on the collected papers of Elizabeth Utterback (1900-1966), teacher, poet, and (unpublished) novelist.