The Sun Shows How it’s Done (Sandy Olson Hill)

Reviewed by Diane R. Wiener

Sandy Olson Hill’s chapbook of eight very short stories—an imaginative while realistic collection of flash prose poetry—brings readers into direct conversation with family legacies, ironic vignettes, and unique imagery. Hill’s stories blend topics of immersion and transfiguration, inviting readers to a layered linguistic feast that is at once leonine and charming. Her word choices and lines are at turns stark, surprising, and alarmingly dark. Fragility and (de)construction are manifestly present at once.

Some readers may at first disprefer, dismiss, or be averse to Hill’s usage of the term “gypsy,” but further reading will make clear that the author is critiquing racialization and racism in the contexts she examines, informed always by her own role, position, and identities.

Hill, who has been honored with many prizes and awards, including The Academy of American Poet’s Prize and the Open Doors Short Fiction Award, is a teacher who believes that literary and visual content can change ways of being, knowing, and doing. The dialogue in her slim volume does not shy away from graphic, even taboo subject matter. In this regard, Hill employs a wide variety of themes and references—from Christ’s crucifixion to “the droning of the Budweiser Clock”—to meet her aims. “Of Things Tangible,” the concluding piece, in some respects integrates the prior seven works.

Title: The Sun Shows How it’s Done
Author: Sandy Olson Hill
Publisher: BlazeVOX
Date: 2022

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About the Reviewer

Diane R. Wiener (she/they) became Editor-in-Chief of Wordgathering in January 2020. She is the author of The Golem Verses (Nine Mile Press, 2018), Flashes & Specks (Finishing Line Press, 2021), and The Golem Returns (swallow::tale press, 2022). Diane’s poems also appear in Nine Mile Magazine, Wordgathering, Tammy, Queerly, The South Carolina ReviewWelcome to the Resistance: Poetry as ProtestDiagrams Sketched on the Wind, Jason’s Connection, the Kalonopia Collective’s 2021 Disability Pride Anthology, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction appears in Stone CanoeMollyhouse, The Abstract Elephant Magazine, and Pop the Culture Pill. Diane’s flash fiction appears in Ordinary Madness; her short fiction is published in A Coup of Owls. She has poetry and creative nonfiction forthcoming in eMerge. Diane served as Nine Mile Literary Magazine’s Assistant Editor after being Guest Editor for the Fall 2019 Special Double Issue on Neurodivergent, Disability, Deaf, Mad, and Crip poetics. Diane has published widely on Disability, education, accessibility, equity, and empowerment, among other subjects. She is a proud Neuroqueer, Mad, Crip, Genderqueer and Enby, Ashkenazi Jewish Hylozoist Nerd who is honored to serve in the nonprofit sector–including as a Zoeglossia Board member. You can visit Diane online at: