EVAN LAVENDER-SMITH is the author of From Old Notebooks (Dzanc Books) and Avatar (Six Gallery Press). His writing has recently been published by BOMB, Denver Quarterly, Harvard Review, Hobart and others. He is the founding editor of Noemi Press, the editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol, and an assistant professor in the MFA program at Virginia Tech. Visit him at www.el-s.net.
Matthew Vollmer’s latest book, Permanent Exhibit, is a collection of intimate, lyrical meditations that unfold according to the surprising associative leaps so often made by the human mind, but which, to my experience as a reader, rarely find their way into writing. The sentences meander and swerve and switchback from perception to recognition to recollection to speculation; the essays themselves, each composed of a single paragraph, capture the more gradual of the mind's movements, proceeding from a condition of certainty to uncertainty, of observation to hypothesis, of apathy to wonder.
Hicks’s second novel, Amateurs, is a send-up of the publishing world: heir to a sex-toy empire, wannabe literary luminary Archer Bondarenko employs down-on-her-luck MFA grad Sara Crennel to ghostwrite for him; soon Archer is enjoying a spot on the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list that should have been Sara’s.