Shanna Compton


By the Cover & the Coldfront Countdown

Oh hey, January was been busy and I forgot to mention here that I have a new gig! I'm writing about book design for the new lit and culture website Real Pants, edited by Amy McDaniel & Adam Robinson. (They're having a launch party tonight in NYC.)

Cayla Lockwood altered image piece says "lick your own wounds i'm on a diet"
Cayla Lockwood: Lick your own wounds. I'm on a diet.
Yolo Pages
The column is called By the Cover, and is more at-a-glance-plus-a-peek-inside discussion than the classic book review. In other words, I start by looking at the book, and then see how its design speaks to its content. I'll be doing these twice a month, on Thursdays.

My first two columns have already gone up.

In the first one, I take a look at deadfalls & snares by Samantha Giles (Futurepoem, 2014), and Living in the Love Economy, a chapbook by Patricia Spears Jones (Overpass, 2014).

In the second installment, Great Pretenders, I went a little bit nuts, because it's sort of a trend piece about faux finishes. So I cover more than I probably normally will be cramming into a single post, including: The Baltimore Atrocities by John Dermot Woods (Coffee House, 2014), Mimer by Lance Phillips (Ahsahta, 2014), The Yolo Pages anthology (Boost House, 2014), and a chapbook called many a holy and obsequious tear by Carolina Maugeri (Horse Less).

I also reviewed Claudia Rankine's book Citizen, for the #1 spot in Coldfront's Top 40 Poetry Books of 2014 countdown. (Scroll to bottom. But check out the whole list of 40—so many great books!)

As always, I'm working on a lot of overlapping projects for Bloof too. Did you see the announcement of our 2015 chapbook series? Subscriptions are available for the year's chapbooks, books, or everything.


Recent & Current Reading*

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Random House, 2010

deadfalls and snares by Samantha Giles (my review at Real Pants)
Futurepoem, 2014

Living in the Love Economy by Patricia Spears Jones (my review at Real Pants)
Overpass, 2014

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Random House, 2008

Mastering Type: The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design by Denise Bosler
HOW Books, 2012

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (review forthcoming in Coldfront)
Graywolf, 2014

Rain of the Future by Valerie Mejer, trans. by C.D. Wright
Action, 2014

Authority: Book 2 of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
FSG, 2014

Annihilation: Book 1 of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
FSG, 2014

MaddAddam: Book 3 of the MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
Knopf Doubleday, 2014

Year of the Flood: Book 2 of the MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
Knopf Doubleday, 2009

Oryx & Crake: Book 1 of the MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood (reread)
Knopf Doubleday, 2004

Red Doc> by Anne Carson
Knopf Doubleday, 2013

+ approx. 300 poetry chapbook manuscripts since October

*Not necessarily chronological or exhaustive, but I'm attempting to keep a list of most of what I read. Not including browsing (which is how I tend to read poetry and magazines, sorry) or research/resource stuff like Famous Trees of Texas (Texas A&M, 1970) though I am, indeed, also reading those things.