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How to Take Yourself Apart, How to Make Yourself Anew
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How to Take Yourself Apart, How to Make Yourself Anew

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Restless, reckless, and wise, Burch throws stones across the mythological waters of identity formation, each bounce and ripple interrogating anew not only how we see ourselves and the world we inhabit, but how we got there and where we're going. Opening the door to his cabinet of curiosities, we accept as invitation Burch’s example of self-evisceration and learn to embrace ...more
Paperback, First, 52 pages
Published January 2010 by PANK Press
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Kevin Fanning
There is a story in this collection called "Molting" that is extremely, extremely, good. It has a really strong voice and in a very short amount of time it moves deftly from funny to weird to sad to scary. I loved it. This is the writer at the top of his game.

Unfortunately the rest of the stories were comparatively flat. Metaphors come and go (origami, mortar, sawing 2x4s, baseball mitt, caladrius!), often in the same story, to no strong end. I imagine these images and the words that string the
I should have read this book before How To Predict The Weather because many of the stories from that book were first published in this one (among other books and magazines). I enjoyed these stories, I liked being reminded of ones that stuck with me from HtPtW. My favorite was Antlers.
Nik Korpon
Concise and beautiful and incredibly visceral, Burch's writing is as sharp as the scalpel his characters wield (eh? see what I did there?) For me, the stand-out story is... the one where the girl wants her hands to be birds (I don't have the book in front of me and can't for the life of me remember the title.) I heard him read it at AWP and was stoked to find it in the collection. In print, it was just as haunting as hearing it the first time, several months prior. I'm really looking forward to ...more
I like the immediacy of the language of these poems. Gritty and tangible. I also like the kind of hidden metaphor that Burch uses. At least, it seems hidden to me. As I read I feel like the actions described are really something mental and I feel like I understand completely, even if I couldn't recite back exactly what I understand. Kind of- Yeah! Yeah! Wait, what? Gives quite a bit to think about in a short space.
Brandon Will
Read this and you will: put yourself in majestic moments half-remembered from National Geographic television specials; put yourself in yourself; put yourself in something larger than yourself. It's very mysterious, a personal experience waiting for each person who reads it to use individual experiences and knowledges to feel out their own meanings or lacks of meanings -- so that's all I want to say about it.
Winner of a PANK Magazine chapbook contest. Thought the whole better than the parts, although "Molting" in the middle section, stole the show. The prose style felt a bit repetitive when I read the collect front to back, but not so when I read a few at a time. Loved the heaping on of concrete details and the precise instructions for complex tasks.
This beautiful looking and head-jangling collection is about myth, the creation of myths, the myths of the father and what we think we've learned from both even if what we've learned is myth as well.
A beautiful little book filled with writing that takes you apart sentence by sentence.
Mel Bosworth
Dylan Suher
Review forthcoming
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