Jacques J. Rancourt’s new chapbook In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal, 2018) is a stunning exploration of what it means to live as a queer man today “on the other side of catastrophe,” a generation after the AIDS crisis.
The raw energy within the novel is uncontaminated, fierce, and dedicated toward a singular purpose: to peel back the reader’s eyes and force them to bear witness to the plight of America’s original inhabitants, lest we forget that non-natives are but immigrants or the descendants of immigrants to this country.
The importance of music—specifically, rock and roll—cannot be overstated when considering this novel. From Iggy & the Stooges to the MC5, Beautiful Music is a veritable crash course in Detroit’s lasting legacy on the music scene; the clanging guitars and screaming singers changed the wiring of an entire generation.
In the preface to his latest book, Census, Jesse Ball tells readers the book is not about what it is about. He wanted to write a book about the loss of his brother who lived with Down syndrome; in the end, he wrote a book about a traveling, dying man who must perform a census of an unknown, magical nature.
“Idiophone is a dance between Fusselman and her reader; Fusselman is always fully leading, sometimes at a stately pace, but most often at one that is allegro, even allegro vivace.”