Indie Lit Round-Up: What to Read This Weekend [Vol 11: Jul 13]

The Coil editor rounds up the best literary pieces from the indie Internet for you to read this weekend.


There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet to read. Here, let me help you wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This recurring column features stories, reviews, poems, interviews, essays, and literary whatnot that you might have missed, and you can come back every weekend for new great reads.

When the family came to live in the new house, they found another family already there.” | BLAKE BUTLER has an odd family story that will stay with you for a long time, “The Copy Family,” at 52 Stories with Cal Morgan.


“His Cubs cap, a favorite, snagged by the wind, flies out the window and you and your mother turn in your seats and watch it.” | KATHY FISH has a tiny breath of a flash at Wigleaf.


“Have you ever been denied service by a restaurant, store, or another service provider?” | DAVE HOUSLEY has a humorous quiz asking “Are You a Modern Conservative?” at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.


“It’s winter when she asks. Though it’s never really winter here.” | JULIA DIXON EVANS & RYAN BRADFORD contemplate death and relationships in “I Want Your Skull When You Die” at Wohe.


“I wanted to find out what I didn’t know and to give a fair hearing to different perspectives.” | LEAH ANGSTMAN interviews ANNA CLARK about the Flint water crisis, her new book, negligent government oversight, and how we can combat disasters like this in the future, in “Flint Is the Urban Crisis of the Century: A Conversation with Anna Clark” at Pacific Standard.


“In June, I’m carted off to church camp for a weekend.” | ROBERT JAMES RUSSELL has a little throwback nostalgia in “High Low” at Atticus Review.


“Earlier this month, it looked as though journalist Brian Karem had seen enough.” | HANIF ABDURRAQIB talks about the practice and purpose of empathy in “Empathy Is Not an End in Itself” at Pacific Standard.


“‘I always see you and your sister riding the bus together,’ a man said to me once. ‘I think you have such a beautiful relationship. You two are adorable.’ / ‘Thank you,’ I said. What I didn’t mention was that she was my daughter, not my sister.” | HEATHER O’NEILL has a lovely piece on coming into motherhood early and her relationship with her daughter in “We’ve been children together, my daughter and me,” at The Guardian.


“The most beautiful hearse I have ever seen / is parked in front of my stoop.” | MORGAN PARKER has a moving poem, “Lush Life,” at Academy of American Poets.


“I’m working on a full-body mount of a coyote.” | SUMMER BLOCK writes about ethical taxidermy and being surrounded by death in “Taking Care with Broken Things: How I Came to Practice Ethical Taxidermy” in Catapult.


“Saying outremer really gives one the feeling of looking wistfully out to sea.” | ELISA GABBERT has two wonderful poems at The Brooklyn Rail.


“He stands beside me with his back to the bar, knees bent, so our eyes meet when he asks What do you want to do with me?” | DINA L. RELLES has a breathtaking little piece that is all color and heartbreak in “What’s Left” at Unbroken Journal.


“On my first day in Florence, Italy, three years ago, I went into a tiny gelato shop near the apartment I was renting for the month, and after I ordered gelato, reached into my pocket to pay, and realized I didn’t have enough.” ALEXANDER CHEE writes about the world’s broken way of trusting in “The Delicate Bargain of Trust” at Medium.


“I’ve been protected a little bit from the high winds of Fates and Furies by my extreme self-skepticism.” | LAUREN GROFF is interviewed in “Made a Little Grotesque by Fiction: The Millions Interviews Lauren Groff” by ADAM VITCAVAGE at The Millions.


“He hands me a paper cup of coffee, the steam rising.” | MELISSA GOODE talks about grief, jealousy, communication, and forgiveness in “None of Us Should Be Here” at Pidgeonholes.


“We have been on the bus for years.” | MATTHEW BAKER talks about the loneliness of the long-distance bus ride in “We Are the Ones on the Bus” at Electric Literature.


“I don’t want to write about racism.” | LEESA CROSS-SMITH has a beautiful piece about identity and what makes us whole in “What Are You?” at Alaska Quarterly Review.


“You can clutch at the remnants with your fingers, / you can breathe and meditate, you can rant and rave.” | JEANNINE HALL GAILEY has a soul-destroyer in “When It All Falls Apart” at Tinderbox Poetry Journal.


“They have to be happier here. Lord knows / they couldn’t survive in their homeland.” | JASON McCALL has a knockout in “What I Tell Myself When I Walk by the Live Mascots on Campus” at Tinderbox Poetry Journal.


“They descend from the boat two by two. The gap in Angela Davis’s teeth speaks to the gap in James Baldwin’s teeth.” | MORGAN PARKER is ungodly amazing with this poem, “It Was Summer Now and the Colored People Came out into the Sunshine,” at Academy of American Poets.

Did you love a literary piece on the Internet this week? Tweet it to me at @leahangstman, and my DMs are always open for new ideas.


LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as Editor-in-Chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a proofreader for Pacific Standard. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.