For 2018 I charted a sort of reading renaissance, rethinking my art and how it’s made—which has me forging new connections and experiences within writing communities. This year has brought me nearer to spanking-new conversations … in horror writing. I read awesome contributions by Alana I. Capria, Orrin Grey, Gemma Files, Matthew M. Bartlett, Michael Wehunt, Paul Tremblay, Charlee Jacob, Victor LaValle, Nadia Bulkin, Brian Evenson, Jon Padgett, Letitia Trent, Caitlin R. Kiernan, duncan b. barlow, Jeff Jackson, John Langan, and Pam Jones—and plan to visit books by Selena Chambers, Mike Kleine, Carrie Laben, Craig Laurance Gidney, Livia Lewellyn, Clive Barker, Gabino Iglesias, Tobias Carroll, and Shane Jesse Christmass very soon.
My top picks for horror read in 2018, in no particular order:
- Alana I. Capria’s Mother Walked into the Lake
- Nadia Bulkin’s She Said Destroy
- Michael Wehunt’s Greener Pastures
- John Langan’s The Wide, Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies
In television, I watched and loved the weirdness of shows like Happy!, Channel Zero, Ash v. Evil Dead, and movies like Get Out.
Now, the self-congratulations: alongside Vol. 7’s debut and digitizing works from past issues, we ran killer reviews of books I need post haste, including contributions from Zuri Etoshia Anderson (The Death Scene Artist by Andrew Wilmot), Micah Zevin (Ruth Danon’s Word Has It), Maxwell Malone (Orrin Grey’s Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales), and Jesi Beull (All Roads Lead to Blood by Bonnie Chau).
More creative work from Freda Epum, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Debra Di Blasi, and Christopher Latin made lasting impressions at #NoMorePresidents.
And we finally put Jennfer H. Fortin’s sprawling essay “Marvel” online for everyone to peep. Plus, our Futures issue is close on the heels of 2019. Look for this brick soon.
Lastly, we had the pleasure of hosting writers solicited by Gabino Iglesias for our inaugural Haunted Passages call. Reigning villains include Esteban Rodriguez and Jarret Middleton.
“Pine America,” Vol. 1 Brooklyn: Sean H Doyle
“Recovering Cherokee Myths from His Grandfather’s Notebook,” Lit Hub: Brandon Hobson
“To the Teeth,” Entropy: Mairead Case
“Cannibal,” Split Lip Mag: Natanya Ann Pulley
“Trapt/$crewed Up (a series of mood logs),” Rigorous: Frankie Met
“The Taxidermy Museum,” Granta: Steven Dunn
Two Poems, Heavy Feather Review: Jill Khoury
Two Poems, Anti-Heroine Chic: Ahja Fox
“Shut up and dribble,” Heavy Feather Review: Tara Campbell
An Excerpt from Forcing His Body to the Water: Erika T. Wurth
Hayli M. Cox
I’ve got a to-read pile of books teetering over on my desk which my cat Mowgli has knocked over no fewer than fifteen times. In fact, I think he dedicated 2018 to eliminating anything that might distract me from offering pets or a game of chase. He pulls books from stacks and shelves and chews them to get my attention. As I undergo vision therapy, I am listening to more audiobooks than ever as I embark on audiostrolls. Still, I return to catastrophes in various forms. He gnaws cords to game systems and paws records as they turn. Just last week he shoved over and irrevocably damaged my turntable. Joke’s on him—I was going to buy a louder one anyway.
Despite Mowgli’s efforts, I have listened to or read several dozen books and have made attempts to keep up on record drops, podcasts, art galleries, readings, movies, and other non-feline activities. I have also read at least half of the journals that arrive in my physical and digital mailboxes. In no particular order, as I can’t even decide on a favorite color, I have listed a few of those bits of art from 2018 which managed to survive my cat and stand out to me as most memorable or enjoyable.
Community, Rebecca Louise Law 2018, Toledo Museum of Art Installation
Paper Darts Volume Seven Art & Lit, 2018
Sing Unburied Sing, Jesmyn Ward 2017
Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado 2017
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi 2018
Boy Erased, Directed by Joel Edgerton 2018
White House, Donis Dayan Llago 2017, Oil on Canvas
Root 25, Noname 2018
Hill Climber, Vulfpeck 2018
Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe 2018
“Tadow” Masego ft. FKJ 2017
“Lover Boy” Phum Viphurit 2018
The Opposite of a Great Truth Is Also True by José del Valle
My Boyfriend Says Poetry and NASCAR Are the Same by Amie Whittemore
how do i net thee/Shira Dentz
The Boneyard, The Birth Manual: Investigations into the Heartland/Julia Madsen
Nicoque of the Early-Spring/Francis Ponge
Moon/Jennifer S. Cheng
Dear Angel of Death/Simone White
Of All Places In This Place Of All Places/Joe Milazzo
Lo Tercario, The Tertiary/Raquel Salas Rivera
The Scales/Adam Stutz
The Desert/Brandon Shimoda
Dark Hour/Nadia de Vries
How to Tell If You Are Human/Jessy Randall
Belly Up/Rita Bullwinkel
Wild Milk/Sabrina Orah Mark
water & power/Steven Dunn
Evening in Paradise/Lucia Berlin
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough/Richard Froude
Coyote Songs/Gabino Iglesias
Destroy All Monsters/Jeff Jackson
In the Desert of Mute Squares/M. Kitchell
Ninth Street Women/Mary Gabriel
Playing Changes: Jazz for the 21st Century/Nate Chinen
Black and Blur/Fred Moten
In the Flow/Boris Groys
Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly/Joshua Rivkin
Non-2018 Things I Loved in 2018
“Peace Piece”/Bill Evans
Heaven Is All Goodbyes/Tongo Eisen-Martin
The Codex Mojaodicus/Steven Alvarez
Duty-Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War/Hito Steyerl
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) – called by many the greatest film performance, for Renee Falconetti’s performance as Joan. Called by me the most moving thing I have ever watched (full movie)
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