“A river’s edge, if approached too close, can sweep a body beyond itself.” In The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!, Miah Jeffra perfects apostrophe as canticle, a host of heroes beckoning the reader deeper into the waters of selfhood, Madonna, Mary Shelley, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Plato, and Jeffra’s mother among them. Jeffra explores the nature of gender, sexuality, aesthetics, and love, taking a tiny hammer to the stability of the limits of perception, troubling the tether between perception and memory. At once memoir and cultural criticism, this collection discovers itself as a book about forgiveness, family, and the truths we find in “the lightness of a door,” “the probability of a radio,” the long line between one story and another.
"Is Miah Jeffra a philosopher? Is he, perhaps, a prophet? Is Miah Jeffra, author of The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic, a loud, queer pop lit voice for the new dawning? The author’s collection of essays proves that he is all these things and more. With cadenced writing, Jeffra offers a fortified feast of memories, personal theories, and lessons."
"At the heart of [The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!] is the knowledge that an artist/writer can imagine a whole person into being simply because they were needed, but that person won’t necessarily stay, anymore than Frankenstein’s monster, or the monsters we create of and for one another. It reminds us that art/ make-believe can reach us and lift us and save us and make us less alone, but not always, not in the ways we’d like, and not permanently. And yet they live on."
San Francisco Book Review
"Reminiscent of Michelle Tea in subject and humor, and of T. Fleischmann’s poeticism in style, this collection continues the work of modern queer essayists. The memories it contains, whether false or true, rose-colored or traumatic, are all written with stunning honesty."
The North American Review
"Good poetry and essayistic writing works on two or three levels: The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic! works on seven. This collection of twenty-seven hybrid-genre pieces contain within them multitudes."
Out in Print
"It’s honesty [is what] makes The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic! a great read."
"Miah Jeffra writes somewhere between a scream and a growl, in short energetic essays that queer the language in exciting ways. In a letter to the late Keith Haring, Jeffra writes ‘I want to feel like a bandit, a punk, a renegade.’ And indeed he takes us on an outlaw's journey, provocateur and picador; flaunt and flirt. Here is a writer who grabs the reader by the balls in all the ways one hopes to be testicularly taken."
"Miah Jeffra is that rare writer who’s as committed to the individual sentence as much as he is to developing a bold, animated vision. These short pieces are nothing less than an ongoing art of survival, and they’re irresistible in their force, innovation, and vulnerability."
"Both tough and tender, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and other times direly serious, Miah Jeffra flips the script in these essays on art, danger, seduction and sexuality. Moving between critical, narrative, lyrical modes Jeffra illuminates and entertains. I loved this book."
"Miah Jeffra is one of the most interesting writers working today and his new book, The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!, is among the most unique you’re likely to pick up this—or any—year. I could describe the book as part memoir, part criticism—but that wouldn’t do justice to the electric, eclectic way Jeffra straddles and subverts genres. Instead, I’ll suggest this: go and read the book and see for yourself. You’ll be happy you did."
"I read The Fabulous Fantastic Ekphrastic! with multiple browser tabs open at all times—perhaps the perfect response to modern life that a book has ever evoked in me."
"Miah Jeffra’s book of essays provides a journey as split—and splitting—as the human experience. The person snaps off the page. And there is unbelievable freedom in that."