“No Object,” Natalie Shapero (Saturnalia Books, 2013)
Why you’ll love it: Say hello to Natalie Shapero, poetry hero. With taser-sharp wit, wry humor and deftly handled form, Shapero examines love, religion and belief, and the skewed language of ads, signs and punchlines. Beware — these smart, funny poems will turn on you, sinking hidden fangs into your heart.
See for yourself:
“With a vegetable knife, I excised my long-gone love/ from a sheet of photographs, but I couldn’t remove the shadow/ he’d cast without doing violence to others.”
--from “Arranged Hours”
“Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place,” Scott McClanahan (Two Dollar Radio Books, 2013)
Why you’ll love it: Another gorgeously weird book from Columbus-based publishers Two Dollar Radio. McClanahan regales us with stories based on his childhood in West Virginia, including his graveyard-obsessed Grandma Ruby, his Uncle Nathan’s questionably unrequited love for his nurse, coal-mining disasters and ghosts. Funny, irreverent, poignant — David Sedaris meets Reverend Horton Heat.
See for yourself:
“This is a lie I was told as a child, but it’s still true. The New River is one of the only two rivers that flows directly north. The other one is a river called the Nile. Those rivers are inside of me. I have a river inside my heart. You have a river inside your heart. There are diamonds inside of both of us. We are all flowing North.”
--from page 70
Hannah Stephenson is a poet, instructor and the founder of “Paging Columbus,” a literary event series. Connect with her online at her poetry site, The Storialist (thestorialist.com) or on Twitter (@thestorialist). Hannah Stephenson is a poet, instructor and the founder of “Paging Columbus,” a literary event series. Connect with her online at her poetry site, The Storialist () or on Twitter (@thestorialist).