California Literary Review

Profile of Katie Cappello


A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Katie Cappello currently lives and works in a small farming town in Northern California. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University, where she served as poetry editor for HAYDEN’S FERRY REVIEW. Her full-length collection of poetry, PERPETUAL CARE, won the 2007 Elixir Press Poetry Award. A second collection, A CLASSIC GAME OF MURDER, will be published by Dancing Girl Press in October.

Email Address:

kmcappello [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Web Site:

Articles written for the California Literary Review:

  • Book Review: Lucy by Laurence Gonzales
    Posted on 28 Jul 2010 in Fiction Reviews, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Thrillers

    Lucy, half human, half bonobo monkey, was genetically engineered by her scientist father, so that “humans can be moved into a more favorable spot in the evolutionary matrix, a position in which we may enjoy some of the superior qualities of our bonobo cousins.” His mission was to create “a new race of people, more like the bonobo but with human intelligence and language—therefore better suited to living in harmony with nature.”

  • A Separate Country by Robert Hicks
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 in Fiction Reviews, Historical Fiction

    A Separate Country tells the story of Confederate General John Bell Hood, who moves to New Orleans after the war and marries a Creole debutante. Hood is a haunted man who has been physically marked by the war; he has lost a leg and the use of an arm. In addition, he can only excel militarily, and his life as a businessman is a resounding failure. Nevertheless, he finds love with the young beauty Anna Marie and they have eleven children together.

  • The Last Reader by David Toscana
    Posted on 04 Feb 2010 in Fiction Reviews, Mexico

    The stream-of-consciousness style and lack of quotation marks seen here is indicative of the entire novel. These techniques project to the reader the type of seamlessness in which Lucio and the other characters live. Violence and love, reality and myth, abundance and drought, life and death; these dichotomies mingle and mate, creating an alternate world extreme in its gorgeous, frightening possibilities.

  • You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr
    Posted on 06 Jan 2010 in Fiction Reviews

    The religious and cultural tensions present in this book, while controversial, are always handled with grace and candor, perhaps because, as Burr writes in an author’s note, the recounting of Sam Rosenbaum’s ousting from a Jewish temple is his own.

  • Matchless by Gregory Maguire
    Posted on 09 Dec 2009 in Children's Literature, Fiction Reviews

    Matchless was originally composed by Maguire for the radio, and the story retains a sense of immediacy which makes it a quick read. Some pages contain only a sentence or two, and Maguire has included his own “illuminations” or sketches, to illustrate the story. There’s a lovely energy to Maguire’s drawings which complements the action of the story, and he plays with light and shadow in the same way visually as he does textually. These two formatting choices make the book ideal for children, something which is not true for his other re-imaginings.

  • Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers
    Posted on 20 Oct 2009 in Fiction Reviews

    As a cultural, literary, and historical icon, Virginia Woolf was celebrated by contemporaries and has continued to fascinate audiences long after her death. And why not? Her strong individualistic streak, perhaps anachronistic during her lifetime, fits in well with our post-feminist culture, and her ability to render life in intimate, almost cinematic detail has inspired writers for ages.

  • The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
    Posted on 25 Aug 2009 in Fiction Reviews, Great Britain, Mystery

    She sees faces in the flaking walls of the kitchen, fears for the soul of a matriarch’s fox fur, and interprets the ever-changing moods of the decorative beer steins on the mantle. Gwenni is a contradictory combination of fearlessness and naiveté, unable to discern the boundary between her imaginative world and the real one. In this way, she recalls such classic girl heroines as Anne of Green Gables or Jo from Little Women. But it’s her similarity with another classic heroine, Nancy Drew, which really draws readers into her world.

  • Valeria’s Last Stand by Marc Fitten
    Posted on 15 Jul 2009 in Fiction Reviews

    In the end, the story of Valeria and her Hungarian town is about the sheer difficulty of change. Relics of the past are broken, beat up, thrown across rooms, and completely destroyed, all in the pursuit of the new and the next. Thankfully, Fitten leaves the future of his creations ambiguous, and keeps his political views (mostly) out of it.

  • Castle by J. Robert Lennon
    Posted on 13 May 2009 in Fiction Reviews, Mystery

    For all his derision, arrogance, and unreliability, Eric Loesch is not an unsympathetic protagonist. In fact, as readers are slowly fed morsels of Loesch’s violent past (Lennon reveals himself here as a master of seamless flashbacks), they find themselves saddened rather than horrified at the person he has become.

  • Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton
    Posted on 06 Apr 2009 in Fiction Reviews

    Though we hope that love will conquer in the end, we are all too aware that these two are just not suited for each other, either on paper, or in real life. The fact that, as audience members, we are able to pick up on these things which are never overtly told to us is as thrilling as piecing a puzzle together or discovering the culprit in a mystery.

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