Indie Lit Round-Up: What to Read This Weekend [Vol 22: Jan 4]

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.

On the first World AIDS Day — December 1, 1988 — I was a happy, doted-upon 1-year-old toddler, completely ignorant that just four short years later AIDS would carry great meaning in my life.” | LATISHA JAMES-PORTIS examines the stigma of AIDS and how we can erase shame in “My Mother Died from AIDS. My Tribute to Her Is That I’m Not Ashamed of It” at Rewire News.


“It’s hard to think about the whitest of white girl names.” | BETH GILSTRAP has a short nonfiction flash about painful memories, “Becky,” at Pithead Chapel.


“There’s a shop in the center / of town that only sells old / wine bottles.” | CHLOE N. CLARK’s Pushcart Prize-nominated poem, “Dionysus Promised to Let You Have Another Glass,” is colorful and sexy over at Likely Red.


“The best historical fiction novels give you a break from the real world.” | ELIZABETH ENTENMAN gives you a short but great list of “The Best Historical Fiction Novels of 2018” at Real Simple.


“Kiese Laymon’s Heavy first appeared on my horizon via a series of separate Tweets from various writers I follow.” | BRANDON TAYLOR and KIESE LAYMON share a wonderful and necessary conversation in “Surviving the Failures of Others” interview at Literary Hub.


“I am the asteroid, the volcano, the poles shifting, / the parasitic nonnative species.” | JEANNINE HALL GAILEY has a personal and urgent environmental apocalyptic poem, “Self-Portrait as Mass Extinction Event,” up at Scoundrel Time.


“Brandt’s twin sister Naomi was in a coma, had been for months, and she wasn’t ever going to come out of the coma.” | ROXANE GAY has a quick flash, “Boy in a Coma,” followed by a brief interview of “2 1/2 Questions,” over at Wigleaf.


“New year, new you, new resolutions?” | RACHEL LIEBROCK has a great list of 2019 books to “Read in the New Year” at Sacramento News Review.


“We could talk about the virtues of reading all day.” | ELENA NICOLAOU talks to authors about “How to Read More in 2019, According to Your Favorite Authors” in a series of brief questionnaires at Refinery 29.


“You could say I was an atticist — ” | MELISSA MATTHEWSON reflects on how the spaces that surround us have a profound affect on us in “The Attic” at The Rumpus.

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, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.

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.