Bibliohio: Recommended Reading from the Heart-Shaped State

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Why God Is a Woman,” Nin Andrews (BOA Editions Ltd., 2015)

Why youll love it:

There is an Island on which women reign and men are beautiful playthings trained for domesticity. All the women look like Angelina Jolie, and the men get penile tattoos, grow up playing with Boberto dolls and earn lesser wages than women. Nin Andrews’ newest collection of poems sends us dispatches from this Island from the point of view of one of its men. Astonishingly brilliant and subversive, Andrews feeds us prose poems that feel equal parts cultural anthropology, mythology and invented personal history.

See for yourself:

“Even foreigners who consider themselves immune to desire cannot look upon the Island men without feeling a pang in the back of their throats and deep in their groins. But beauty has its price tag. Island men are often stalked, harassed, and picked up by strangers in dark vans … As a consequence the men are terrified.”

—from “On the Island where I come from,” p. 32

“New to the Lost Coast,” Joshua Butts (Gold Wake Press, 2015)

Why youll love it:

“In many places there’s still plenty of wildness,” Joshua Butts declares in a poem from his debut collection, “New to the Lost Coast.” These poems locate wildness at home and away, in lawns, scrap yards, Southern Ohio roads and rivers. Butts is a poet of wry humor, insight and the ability to see the strangeness in our routines and hometowns. Read “New to the Lost Coast,” and I promise you’ll want to explore its weirdly welcoming places.

See for yourself:

“Cove-roaders invade the area with Cokes// and soothe the locals but the ditches/ are treacherous on their own through the// deepest most natural woods. Pick a driveway/ and the dead get up and go home.”

—from “Cove Road”