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Elizabeth Clark Wessel’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, a founding editor at Argos Book, and the translator of numerous novels from the Swedish, including most recently What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde. Originally from rural Nebraska, she spent many years living in New York and Connecticut, and these days calls Stockholm, Sweden home.

She has translated a chapbook of poems called Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman by Kristina Lugn that is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019, in the handmade chapbook series.

Here in no particular order are some of my favorite chapbooks of the year. A few are by friends and some share a publisher with me, but my admiration is absolutely sincere. I can’t say my reading has been expansive enough to make any claims to a “best of” list, but I do feel sure that more readers should and would enjoy these beautiful & various projects.

A Catalogue of the Further Suns
F. J. Bergmann
(Gold Line Press)

A Catalogue of the Further Suns by F. J. Bergmann

My Ida
Simone Kearney
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

My Ida by Simone Kearney

Roberto Montes
(TAR chapbook series)

Grievances by Roberto Montes

High Noon
Noel Black
(Blue Press)

S. Brook Corfman
(DoubleCross Press)

Meteorites by S. Brook Corfman

Kissing Caskets
Mahogany L. Browne
(YesYes Books)

Kissing Caskets by Mahogany L. Browne

Outside of the Body There Is Something Like Hope
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
(Big Lucks Press)

Plane Fly at Night
MC Hyland
(above/ground press)

The Rest of the Body
Jay Deshpande
(YesYes Books)

Jurassic Desire
Rohan Chhetri
(Per Diem Press)


Fish Walking, and other bedtime stories for my wife
Arisa White
(Per Diem Press)

Also, Argos Books, which I coedit, published two chapbooks, a full-length, & a calendar this year. I want everyone to read them because I love them so much. You can check it all out here.

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Untitled [I want you to come now!]

Living room, Arthur Smith, Architectural Digest, October 1983.
Living room / Arthur Smith, Architectural Digest, October 1983.
I want you to come now!
I want you to come now at the latest!
Bring your pocket calculator.
And the grand piano.
Bring band-aids aspirin eau de cologne and antiseptic soap
a bottle of seltzer a bottle of gin a bottle of whisky
and toothbrush mug
a bottle of Ajax and a large pack of sleeping pills a houseplant
a pizza
and a respirator.
I want you to come now!
Only you should come now at the very latest!
And take me by storm.
Turn out the lights.
And light the candelabras.
You should unplug the telephone jack.
And blow up the air mattresses.
You should dry my tears and talk some sense to me.
When the sun goes down behind the Opera House.
And it’s time to go home.
Then you should come to me.
With your heart.
And your shotgun.
So I’ll never lose my temper again.
In a tastefully furnished living room.
So I’ll never stand on the window ledge again.
Looking a little stupid.
With a dog rose in my hand.
So I’ll never creep through the subways again
with an embarrassing song.
On my broken lips.
You have to come now, now at the very latest!
Simply because I can’t stand it otherwise.
Simply because it’s so damn persistent.
Simply because I’m a totally ordinary woman.
Completely healthy and moderately overweight.
Somewhat domestic, helpful and nervous.
Kind and sweet and very scared.
With general interests and an untapped literary vein.


Kristina Lugn, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
from Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman
(Bloof Books Chapbook Series, 2019)