New Reviews & an Essay in Print

I have two reviews out now: I contended with Maggie Nelson’s On Freedom for Heavy Feather Review, which you can read here.

I reviewed Donald Antrim’s One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Survival, which is close to my heart and taught me quite a bit. You can read it in Colorado Review here.

I have an essay in print for under the gum tree‘s Spring 2022 issue. In 2016, I started struggling with an overactive bladder that was tied to the onset of a mental health crisis. I began this essay to try to understand what was happening to my body, and it was part of the reason I finally applied for an MFA program, which I will finish this year. This essay has been on a six-year journey to being published, and I’m still very proud of it and where it led me.

Finally, I started a Substack to share more frequent thoughts about music and the like. You can visit the general store to read about FKA twigs’ and Mitski’s latest albums. While you’re there, you might consider subscribing if you like what you find.

reading writing

Recent Writing

I had some writing published around the web (and one in print!) in the last few months:

I reviewed Hanif Abdurraqib’s A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance for The Athenaeum Review. It appeared in their print issue and online here.

I reviewed Clint Smith’s How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America for Porter House Review. It’s available online here.

Spoiler: both books were incredible.

I wrote about mental health and quitting my job last year for Lunch Ticket. Last semester, I served as the blog editor for the journal. We published ten blogs that I’m really proud of. I have incredible peers.

Finally, I wrote about my love of Kermit as a cowboy and reimagining Western masculinity in The Muppet Movie for Lunch Ticket‘s new series, Midnight Snack.


Two New Reviews

I have two recent reviews out:

For Colorado Review, I wrote about Krys Malcolm Belc’s memoir, The Natural Mother of the Child (Counterpoint Press).

For Heavy Feather Review, I wrote about Claudia Rankine’s lyrical hybrid work, Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press), out this week in paperback.


“Kurt Vonnegut’s Seasons” in The Drift

The Drift is a great new magazine, and one of their sections I adore is Mentions, where writers offer reviews under 100 words. I have one in their latest issue on Kurt Vonnegut’s seasons, which you can read here.


Review of Gina Nutt’s ‘Night Rooms’ in Heavy Feather

I reviewed Gina Nutt’s fantastic essay collection Night Rooms for Heavy Feather Review. You can read it here.

film writing

“Offscreen” in Postscript Magazine

I have a new essay of film criticism in the latest issue of Postscript Magazine. In it, I examine Spring Breakers as a film that does or doesn’t interrogate whiteness, and how that ambiguity is too costly in light of the white American inability to see whiteness onscreen. You can read it here.


“A Man Who Literally Goes to Therapy” in Lunch Ticket

I have a new blog on Lunch Ticket that I am very proud of. I talk about my experience with therapy and how I wish for every person, especially men, to seek help. You can read it here.


“Some Notes on Enchantment” in HASH Journal

I have a new essay on the 2019 film The Lighthouse in HASH Journal, a new publication that I adore. This essay is part of my ongoing series on film and whiteness, all of which can be found on my Published Work page.

You can read the essay here.


“Saving the Suburbs” in Newfound

I have a new review in the latest issue of Newfound. In it, I look at Jason Diamond’s book The Sprawl: Reconsidering the Weird American Suburbs in conversation with the 2017 film Suburbicon. You can read the review here, and better yet, you can read the entire issue.

Diamond’s The Sprawl is available through Coffee House Press.


Some Writing Around the Web

I had a number of things published in the past few days around the web:

For the Lunch Ticket blog, I wrote about what it means to sit alone in my room listening to music and how it connected me to the wider world. You can read it here.

For Issue IV of Variety Pack, I wrote a review essay about some books that have helped me learn how to grieve in a nation that does not grieve well. I considered Marion Winik’s The Big Book of the Dead, alongside Camus’ The Plague, Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped, and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.

For The Adroit Journal, I reviewed Melissa Valentine’s wonderful memoir The Names of All the Flowers, which has stayed with me since I read it last July.

Thanks to all of you who choose to read.

– Ben