Book Reviews

Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Nancy Takacs’ New Collection of Poetry Gifts Readers Questions to Which There Are No Answers

Nancy Takacs’ fourth full-length poetry collection, Dearest Water (Mayapple Press 2022, 77pp.) continues the poet’s journey toward the spiritual center of wilderness, whether encountered out-of-doors (on a desert clifftop, say, or under a star-studded Western night sky) or glimpsed interiorly, after an argument with a beloved husband or […]

Book Awards | Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Patrick Madden’s Impressive, Vital Collection of Essays Wins the 15 Bytes Book Award for Creative Nonfiction

Brigham Young University professor Patrick Madden has won the 15 Bytes Book Award for Creative Nonfiction for his collection of essays. Published by the University of Nebraska Press, Disparates confirms Madden’s reputation as an essayist of great humor, vitality and range. In one of the essays collected here, […]

Book Awards | Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Robert H. Van Wagoner’s “The Contortionists” wins the 15 Bytes Book Award for Fiction

Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner’s evocative, disturbing, dark novel, The Contortionists, has won this year’s 15 Bytes Book Award for fiction. The novel, which the author has described as a “literary crossover,” injects the tension of a suspense novel into the world of fully fleshed characters, deep context and […]

Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Melanie Rae Thon’s “Sweet Hearts” is a Complex and Challenging Tapestry of the American West

In Sweet Hearts, Melanie Rae Thon has written the most complex and challenging book … Complex because she has densely stitched together five generations of the lives of the families she created, but also woven them into more than a century of eventful and unsettling Western history. And challenging not only because this is a history of relentless exploitation, marked by misadventure, injustice, and cruelty, but also because she refuses to shield herself or her readers from the true horror of the continuing conflict between the Native Americans who were driven from their lands again and again, and the interlopers from the east who always found, and continue to find, reasons why they still want to take for themselves even the desolate places they forced those defeated communities to take on.

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