"Pleasure makes your teeth hurt. Its best quality is the way it keeps you reading, drawn forward toward the ending by a steady stream of stories. Mixed with history and science, peppered with factoids, laced with Biblical verse, Pleasure keeps you alert, wondering at the connections, trying to make sense even as the writer tries to make sense. In this way, Pleasure involves you in its creation--not content to be simply evidence of a writer working alone, unaware of his audience, Pleasure glances at its writer before turning toward us to ask, have you ever hurt like this? Again and again and again."
-Paul Bogard, Contest Judge and Author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light
"I read The Collective by Jacob Little in the new Pithead Chapel and then I read it again. Crusher."
-Meredith Alling, Author of Sing the Song
"Bruising, vicious, and electric, "Ask Me About Love" is a poem that refuses to look away."
-Rachel Rinehart, Contest Judge and Levine Poetry Prize Winner
"[Little's] work shows a sharp eye for the telling detail, for the meaningful nuance that evokes and haunts."
-Cathy Day, Contest Judge and Author of The Circus in Winter and Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love
"Another Night Shift at the Circle K brilliantly (and never coyly) lyricizes the seemingly mundane. As such—as is sometimes the case with our best meditative essayists—objects such as a milk cooler, a pretzel bag, a gas pump are given their due, and, in turn, gather an almost unbearable fragility, a solemn electricity. In this world, these objects are charged with containing so many unspoken narrative sadnesses and disappointments, and moths, and beetles, and all these objects can do is appropriately sweat or crackle or stand silent and dumbstruck—as so many of us do alongside them—with the strain. This is wonderfully atmospheric work, strangely incantatory, and observant. It’s ambitious too, and dares to implicitly comment on a sliver of the human condition, as filtered through such loving treatment of quotidian stimuli. Much of it reads as if Dillard rewrote Updike’s “A&P.”
-Matthew Gavin Frank, Contest Judge and Author of The Mad Feast, Preparing the Ghost, Barolo, Pot Farm, The Morrow Plots, Sagittarius Agitprop, and Warranty in Zulu
"Poetry that cuts you on purpose then hands you a Kleenex and a band-aid."
-Joanne Spencer, Author and Reviewer, The Review Review
“This essay is quiet in the way of Cathedrals on a New York City afternoon—[Little's] voice a low hum in the reader’s ears, giving the sense not of inner peace so much as relative respite from the chaos and noise and bustle outside the essay... [Little's] reflective consideration of his time at Circle K proves the rule that an essay can, and perhaps should, find the deepest human truths within the most mundane of human experiences.”
-Joey Franklin, Contest Judge and Author of My Wife Wants You to Know I'm Happily Married