Best of the Web 10/16/17

Thrice a month, we feature our favorite literary links. As ever, we promise: You’ll ruminate. You'll ponder. You won’t get any writing done.

From The Sewanee Review, Danielle Evans' short story, "Boys Go To Jupiter."

"The bikini isn’t even Claire’s thing. Before this winter, if you had said Confederate flag, Claire would have thought of high-school beach trips: rows and rows of tacky souvenir shops along the Ocean City Boardwalk, her best friend Angela muttering they know they lost, right? while Claire tried to remember which side of the Mason-Dixon line Maryland was on. The flag stuff is Jackson’s, and she’s mostly seeing Jackson to piss off Puppy. Puppy, Claire’s almost-stepmother, is legally named Poppy; Puppy is supposedly a childhood nickname stemming from a baby sister’s mispronunciation, but Claire suspects that Puppy has made the whole thing up. Puppy deemed it wasteful to pay twice as much for a direct flight in order for Claire to avoid a layover, and her father listens to Puppy now, so for the first half of her trip, Claire had to go the wrong direction—to Florida from Vermont via Detroit."

From Bustle, "5 Ways Reading Before Bed Can Help You Sleep Better At Night."

"Researchers at the University of Sussex found that half an hour of dedicated reading greatly reduces stress levels more than several other methods of relaxation, like listening to music or drinking tea. And since stress is a major factor in insomnia, reading can help you curb some of those negative thoughts swirling around in your brain before bed."

From Electric Literature, Grub instructor Jane Dykema's essay, "What I Don’t Tell My Students About ‘The Husband Stitch.’"

"When I teach Carmen Maria Machado’s story “The Husband Stitch,” the first in her collection Her Body and Other Parties, to my fiction workshops, it’s unlike teaching any other story. For one thing, the men in class don’t speak. I’m not sure if, like me, they don’t know what to say, something I admit before we begin. “I don’t quite know how to discuss this story,” I say. “I’m really having us read it because I love it.” Or maybe they feel like they shouldn’t because it is, among other things, a story about being a woman. The conversation limps along, uncharacteristically weighted with all the things the students are thinking and not saying. Often, one woman admits she cried when she read it, and when I nod and ask why, she says she doesn’t know. Always, a student says that she sent it to all of her friends."

From Literary Hub, OneWorld editor in chief Chris Jackson tackles the "diversity" issue: "'Diversity in Publishing' Doesn't Exist--But Here's How It Can."

"The word itself has suffered from its failure to describe a reality. Diversity has become an empty, ugly, punishing sound, like a wave of coughs or the revving of a stalled engine. It’s in the category of thing that people generally agree with in principle, although they’re not exactly sure why they’re nodding their heads, and are confused about how to actually achieve—or perhaps not confused at all but worried that it will cost more than they’re willing to bear, which for many people might be any cost at all. But I think there are ways to anchor the question of diversity in publishing in reality—and ways to achieve it that will only grow the work we do to greater abundance, with no meaningful loss.

From The Poetry Foundation, Ross Gay's poem, "Within Two Weeks the African American Poet Ross Gay is Mistaken for Both the African American Poet Terrance Hayes and the African American Poet Kyle Dargan, Not One of Whom Looks Anything Like the Others." 

If you think you know enough to say this poem
is about good hair, I'll correct you
and tell you it's about history
which is the blacksmith of our tongues.
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