Everything

BY: Susannah

The sun was bright on the cold day. The snow, a blanket over the tall trees and dead shrubs. I had spent the night, so I’d be happy for a week or so, I thought, as he drove over the icy roads to drop me back at home.

Book Review: LaTasha “Tacha B.” Braxton’s “Dark Chains”

BY: A.M. Larks

 

Dark Chains by LaTasha “Tacha B.” Braxton is a self-published spiritual autobiography of a girl’s journey through abuse to religious conversion. At its high point, Braxton’s story connects the reader to the experience of growing up in an abusive environment. 

We children were suffering the most, having to constantly hear that yelling and bad language influenced by drugs and alcohol through our locked bedroom door. We dealt with the trauma our mother felt from having a gun put to her face by my father. We dealt with the fear after my father threw a big concrete block through their bedroom window, shattering glass everywhere, with the brick barely missing my tiny head as I innocently slept in my mother’s arms. We were succumbing to this dysfunctional curse that would negatively impact too many generations to come.

Genocide Must Be Covered Before Dinner

BY: Sarah Broussard Weaver

The college professor is calm as he describes genocide. He’s just giving his planned lecture, the one scheduled on the syllabus and outlined in his notes. The students continue doodling or staring into space, only looking up when the professor mentions a detail that’s unexpectedly gruesome.

That is not how I react.

Book Review: Nicole Chung’s “All You Can Ever Know”

BY: A.M. Larks

It is our origin stories that shape us. How we came to be in this world matters almost as much as what we do in it. There is a natural and innate curiosity to know the facts that happened before our consciousness, that ties us to our personal histories, to our culture, and to a larger family history. “Family lore given to us as children has such a hold over us, such staying power. It can form the bedrock of another kind of faith, one to rival any religion, informing our beliefs about ourselves, and our families, and our place in the world,” Nicole Chung writes in All You Can Ever Know. These stories are often simplified down to almost anecdotal summation, like my spouse who blames his perpetual tardiness on being late for his own due date. He came out a month late but only by inducement. He was late in the beginning and therefore will always be late.

TCR Talks with Ruth Nolan

BY: Nathania Seales Oh

In a time when the power of a woman’s voice rings louder and clearer than ever, Ruth Nolan is putting her money where her mouth is. From the beautiful ecopoetry in her latest project, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, where she acted as coeditor and contributor, to her deeply personal poetry collection Ruby Mountain, Nolan is, in a word, an activist. She is a profound advocate for the respect and conservation of the California desert, a landscape she has always called home. She speaks not only to its beauty but also to its transformative power. Nolan tells of our relationship, history, and encroachment upon lands where wildfires have burned for centuries. Yes, it’s true. Wildfires are not a new thing. Our living in the places where they unfold, is. She also reminds her readers, students, and fan base of the importance of speaking your truth. As we witness this watershed moment in time, The Coachella Review is honored to spend time in conversation with the passionate and incomparable Ruth Nolan.

Book Review: Kim Brooks’s “Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear”

By: Felicity Landa

Kim Brooks’s book, Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear, begins with a flurry of emotions that I suspect will be as familiar to other parents as it was to me. In a rush of stress and worry mixed with the impulse to placate her child in a tense situation, Brooks made a split-second decision to leave her four-year-old son in the car while she ran into the store. She was gone for five minutes. She could see the car from the front store windows. And while her son was perfectly fine when she returned, this seemingly trivial decision led to one of the most monumental consequences of Brooks’s parenting years. Someone had filmed her, and sent the video to the police.

Letter to My Scottish Grandmother

By Priscilla Long

I remember fusty objects, old-fashioned over-politeness, over-furnished rooms. Antimacassars—those lace doilies fixed on the armrests and headrests of upholstered chairs. Paisley-patterned rugs, floral wallpaper, framed scenes of cows, a framed embroidered locomotive. The grandfather clock. You kept parakeets in birdcages. I keep a framed drawing that once hung in your little house, the head of a girl. Who was she? What did she mean to you? I have no idea. There’s no one left who could possibly know.

I remember your Scottish accent, the way you said bean for been. How have you bean?

Book Review: “Writers Resist: The Anthology 2018”

BY: J. Markowitz

Writers Resist: The Anthology 2018 (Running Wild Press) edited by Kit-Bacon Gressitt and Sara Marchant is a compilation of fiction, poetry, and essays originally published on WritersResist.org, an online literary journal established in the aftermath of Trump’s election. The Resistance is a decentralized activist movement against the powers that led to Trump’s election; the Anthology is a response to the question of the role of the writer in that movement. The book is activism in writing; its pages, a space for debate, confronting oppressive paradigms, and expressing solidarity.

TCR Talks with Mag Gabbert

BY: J. Markowitz

The physicality of Mag Gabbert’s poetry and essays is dreamily overwhelming. We enter a twilight through the medium of a body—her body—which her craft makes so palpable that it could be our own. Via the sensations of her vulnerabilities, Gabbert delivers us to the liminal spaces between pleasure and shame, power and exploitation, existence and the body. She takes us to the edge of her mortality, because it is there that we are most aware of our own aliveness.

Book Review: Leah Dieterich’s “Vanishing Twins”

BY: A.M. Larks

I have begun this review eight times now. I know the topics I want to cover, the words I want to say, but the disjointed and interrelated concepts resist a cohesive narrative. The cause, I suspect, is not my lack of writing skills but the high quality of Leah Dieterich’s in her memoir, Vanishing Twins.