LLA Reads: Wolves and Demons
At Louisville Literary Arts, we all love to read. But our interests in literature are as varied as hats on Derby Day. Some of us gravitate toward poetry, while others prefer an epic novel. A few of us love reading creative nonfiction. In this space, we recommend recent books we've read, and hope that you'll find something just right for your reading list.
Adam recommends: OUR FATHER IN THE YEAR OF THE WOLF by Dave Harrity (Wordfarm, 2016)
"Dave Harrity's Our Father in the Year of the Wolf is a fragmented series of linked monologues and lyrical poems that trace the personal history of a rural family and the trauma of hidden violence. Harrity's poems move ecstatically through the psycho-sexual experience of coming-of-age and reckon with the emotional and spiritual distances between fathers and sons, as well as the tensions inherent between civility and animal impulses.
The poems in this collection are fraught with an erratic, intense vision—some even seem to seek to terrify through absurdity. The book's motifs and central images of werewolves, monsters, and the chaos of the natural world also serve to enhance the disjunction present between one's desire and one's behavior, the physical and the emotional, and the confusion of abuse and familial love. The sections of the book have a breakneck clip, and the collection moves between rich, meditative description and winding, cyclical lyricism.
Harrity is a visionary poet whose work is both playful and serious, hopeful and baleful, spiritual and carnal; it's these tensions that make Our Father in the Year of the Wolf an exciting and engaging read, as well as a frightening, provoking, and otherwise battering book."
"In Horns, Ig wakes up after a bender to find horns on his head, the density of bone. In interactions with strangers, friends and relatives, he soon discovers that the horns influence people to confess their darkest thoughts - things they'd really like to do, but know they shouldn't – or feelings that have never been uttered. Ig's girlfriend was murdered about a year ago, and he's been the primary suspect. Now that he has this strange new power to elicit confessions, Ig decides to use this power to figure out who killed her. And Ig discovers as he talks to people that he's changing....
More magical realism than horror, this book delves deep into the shadowy territory of the mind. Would any of us really want to know all the dark secrets of the people in our life? No - but it's definitely interesting reading."