Reviews

Escorting Romanian Poetry to the English Speaking World—Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry edited by Martin Woodside

Escorting Romanian Poetry to the English Speaking World—Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry edited by Martin Woodside

Martin Woodside’s new anthology of Romanian translations, Of Gentle Wolves, adds much to the landscape of contemporary English language poetry. Woodside, in his translator’s note, claims that “contemporary Romanian poets work largely in obscurity and are often dismissed as a marginal, even irrelevant, group;” he argues, however, that these Romanian poets are relevant, diverse, and dynamic and that “the poems […]

Update: A Place to Stand: Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Docu-Memoir is Scheduled for Release Next Spring

Update: A Place to Stand: Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Docu-Memoir is Scheduled for Release Next Spring

“I was a witness not a victim … My job was to witness and record the ‘it’ of their lives, to celebrate those who don’t have a place in this world to stand and call home … My role as a witness is to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless, of which I am one.” —Jimmy […]

The Alchemist’s Kitchen by Susan Rich

The Alchemist’s Kitchen by Susan Rich

The beauty and musicality of the English language cannot be overlooked in Susan Rich’s third book, The Alchemist’s Kitchen (a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year). She invents new forms and reinvents the tried and true, exploring every device and tool with a keen ear and deft tongue.   Rich begins her […]

Collected Body by Valzhyna Mort

Collected Body by Valzhyna Mort

In large part, this book is the speaker’s desperate attempt to reconstruct her family’s history, pulling its various characters together as best as she can, with little more than her own subjective experience to guide her recreation.   Collected Body is the first book Valzhyna Mort has written in English. It is a rich and complex tapestry of characters and their […]

The Sorrow Gondola by Tomas Tranströmer

The Sorrow Gondola by Tomas Tranströmer

What Tranströmer expresses so eloquently in these lines is the idea that our lives are fleeting in relation to our history—the “cold sphinx, / empty arenas”—and even more so in relation to “Light and silent constellations. / The cold sea.” We are ultimately condemned to silence and have to make do with “the small script of the grass / and […]

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

What echoes throughout Gailey’s work is the understanding and the desire to create alternate worlds when reality is chaotic.   Jeannine Hall Gailey’s second book, She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books 2011), is a collection that is inspired by and recreates Japanese folk-tales, anime, and Shinto spirits. One of the themes of Gailey’s book is the fear and […]

In a Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer

In a Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer

The reader of these poems will sift through the radiant ashes of a country that has set itself on fire, as Prufer unburies the rotting bodies of a recent history.     Kevin Prufer’s fifth collection of poetry, In a Beautiful Country, depicts a startling landscape that is eroded by war, violence, grief, and alienation. Prufer populates this landscape with […]

Pleasure by Brian Teare

Pleasure by Brian Teare

Addressing an epidemic that is still out of control and claiming lives worldwide, Pleasure represents Teare’s attempt to create a language for the politics of loss.   Much like his second collection of poems, Sight Map, Brian Teare’s third collection of poetry, Pleasure, is an exploration of landscapes. Rather than a pastoral inquiry into the nature of the erotic, the […]

The Poet's Garden, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

Beautiful Impediment: A History of Guns in the Family by John Burgess

John Burgess’ second book of poems, A History of Guns in the Family, is an ambitious attempt to contain the experiences of an entire lifetime in a compact work of nine poetic sequences.

Noose and Hook by Lynn Emanuel

Noose and Hook by Lynn Emanuel

Noose and Hook itself is a tearing and mending of identity and verse. Both are the noose and the hook, suffocating readers and at the same time grabbing and snagging their attention. Lynn Emanuel is a poet who challenges the lyrical “I” to a word match. Philosophical inquiries, particularly the poet’s struggle with language’s deficiencies, are her strengths. Frances McCue […]

The Politics by Benjamin Paloff

The Politics by Benjamin Paloff

  The world of contemporary poetry is a little richer, and a little wiser, now that Paloff’s work is a part of it.   Benjamin Paloff’s first collection of poetry, The Politics, drinks from the same well famously tapped by the High Moderns, including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce.  Specifically, Paloff holds to one of their primary tenets, […]

Nox by Anne Carson

Nox by Anne Carson

Although it will not provide a representative introduction to Carson’s work for those who haven’t read her before, fans will love Nox for its honesty, occasional brilliance, and physical beauty.   Anne Carson’s Nox is a high quality, full color reproduction of a scroll dozens of feet long, to which the author glued and taped all the elements that compose the […]