TCR talks with Albert Kim, showrunner for Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender

By Sean Belfina  Water, earth, fire, air. Fans of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender know the rest. Its element-bending action, humor, and heart glued many to their television sets during its original run from 2005-2008. Heavily influenced by Asian culture, the show broke westernized fantasy stereotypes and spotlighted representation. Now, Netflix has adapted the show into a live action series starring an all-Asian and Indigenous cast. The series looks to remix the animated series and bring new viewers to this vast fantastical world. At the helm of this flying bison is Albert Kim, notable for his work…

POETRY: I See the Blind by Laine Derr

I See the Blind Flashing in the morning light, knowing change is but a coin tossed in the air, neither heads nor tails, cement-kissed cheek unable to turn (keeping still) lest I wake the sleeping ones. Cuffed up for being of color, of consequence. Feeling weight, long dead, of a grandmother’s song: On Sundays, I see the blind. When they caught up to me, I slept like a stone, newly polished – a glistening red. Laine Derr holds an MFA from Northern Arizona University and has published interviews with Carl Phillips, Ross Gay, Ted Kooser, and Robert Pinsky. Recent work…

TCR Talks with Jaime Stickle, creator of The Girl with the Same Name

By Perrin Pring Upon arriving in California over twenty years ago, writer Jaime Stickle had the unsettling experience of being asked if Jaime Stickle was really her name. It was then she became aware of a young woman, Jamie Stickle, who had been found burned alive in her car in Pittsburgh. The only difference in their names is a slight variation in spelling. Over the next twenty years, Jaime went on to have a productive career in storytelling, but she never forgot about the unsolved death of the woman whose name was nearly identical to her own. With her new…

REVIEW: The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers

Reviewed by Dave Oei Georgia Summers’s debut novel The City of Stardust blends urban and high fantasy into an adventure that spans the English countryside, the continents, places hidden beneath and around us, and the mystical world of Fidelis, a land filled with equal parts magic and horror. It’s a story of a young woman, Violet Everly, who has inherited a family curse and is hell-bent on averting it. Failure means her death. Violet’s adversaries include, among others, a mysterious woman named Penelope who wields insurmountable power; Penelope’s reluctant, heat-starved assistant Yuri; and one particularly hungry ancient god chained under…

POETRY: Too Much by Jason M. Thornberry

He gave them too much of not enough, So they brought an empty birthday card And lay it against his wet headstone. Jason M. Thornberry’s writing appears in JMWW, Los Angeles Review of Books, North Dakota Quarterly, Harbor Review, Entropy, TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. Assaulted by strangers, he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Relearning to walk and speak—and navigating post-traumatic epilepsy—Jason earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He’s currently seeking a home for his first novel. Jason lives in Seattle with his wife and dog and teaches writing at Seattle Pacific University.

POETRY: Death Is a Dress Never by Ellen Devlin

Death is a dress never worn, waiting in our closets linen or wool we can die in any season a dress too important to wear, pushed into a dusty corner of occasion dresses bridesmaid dresses don’t fit dresses sale dresses dresses the moths got dresses bought in bad light drunk dresses pooled on the floor worn out dresses worried dresses we never get it right. Ellen Devlin is the author of the chapbooks Rita and Heavenly Bodies at the MET. Her recent journal publications include Beyond Words (2023), Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art (2023), Muleskinner Journal (2023), Rock…

TCR Talks with Mathieu Cailler, author of Forest for the Trees

By Chih Wang If something seems familiar about Mathieu Cailler’s new short story collection, Forest for the Trees, maybe it’s because one of its pieces, “Quickenings,” was first published here at The Coachella Review. In this collection—his seventh book and second of short stories—he brings us intimate moments of people’s quiet suffering, their little joys, losses, and revelations, from a wife passively defying her husband (“Party of Two”) to a taxi driver protecting his passenger from an abusive date (“Highway 111”), from a war veteran’s rescue gone wrong (the title story, “Forest for the Trees”) to a gun’s silent witness…

DRAMA: Write What You Know by G.A. Milnthorpe

  G.A. Milnthorpe is an author, playwright, and comedian. His latest novel, Archibald Mountbank and the Miniscule Miracles, is his best, and shortest, to date. He lives in Bury St. Edmunds, UK. You can find him on Facebook and  X/Twitter.  

Voice to Books: Magical Realism and BIPOC Authors

  Magical realism is often associated with the works of Latin-American authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Jorge Luis Borges. However, in an essay for the New York Times titled “Saying Goodbye to Magical Realism,” Silvia Moreno-Garcia describes how the term can be problematic and limiting, not just for Latin-American authors, but for writers as a whole. By mislabeling works as magical realism, she says, we lose our chance at having more “nuanced, complex conversations about books”—e.g., how stories might fit within multiple genres, moods, aesthetics, and textures beyond easily marketable categories that unintentionally strip them of…