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The Self Unstable
It took me a few pages to get into this for some reason, but when I did it was like ZOOOOM--and my head was buzzing with each page! I like how these p ...more
Mar 12, 2014
Mar 06, 2014
Who Can Make It
More reason to read poetry chapbooks is this unrelenting magic from the great Portland poet (yeah, I said Portland. He's ours now). Big Lucks--you got ...more
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Feb 04, 2015
Partyknife reminds me of a really great indie rock album, like GBV's Bee Thousand or Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted. I loved the randomness and lo ...more
Aug 29, 2012
Aug 26, 2012
Bad Bad
Minnis is partly known for using extended ellipsis in her work. The dots scrawl across the page like fleas looking for blood. They create tension with ...more
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Mar 26, 2008
Freud Blah Blah Blah
This pretty little book contains sixteen perfect little poems that will Evel Knievel you so hard and play you over and over like a Cat Stevens record. ...more
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Mar 19, 2014
Inferno (a poet's novel)
The subtitle "A Poet's Novel" makes me wonder what makes it different from say, "a novelist's novel" or "an artist's novel." Is it the gonzo approach ...more
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Nov 26, 2011
Lake Antiquity
A solidly wonderful visual presentation full of Downing-style goofballery. I liked the collages more often than the long lines of rambling small type, ...more
Feb 21, 2015
Feb 19, 2015
The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather
The middle book, La La La, is especially magic. Dude is a witch (warlock?)* when it comes to making short lines melt in your brain not in your eyes. T ...more
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Jan 20, 2014
This Last Time Will Be the First
These are smart, multi-layered poems that are probably best read in the middle of the day. Not in the middle of the day when you are not up to speed a ...more
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Mar 06, 2014
Sorrow Arrow
The magic of an EKF poem is that it feels both improvisational and intensely focused. Sorrow Arrow is a collection so stabby and jabby and oozy and wo ...more
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May 06, 2014
I read this book at work today. It took about fifteen minutes. I admit that its brevity (one or two sentences a page) was an impetus in me opening it, ...more
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Jun 29, 2008
The Gold Cell (Knopf Poetry Series)
There are so many great lines and so many classic poems in this book, it's like reading a best-of collection. Olds's talent is ridiculous, nearly unre ...more
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Apr 26, 2012
Letters From Robots
Robots don't have emotions, but these poems do. Salier is able to bring to life the sad, cold moments of loneliness and turn them into weird, apocalyp ...more
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Apr 10, 2012
It's like the third album of an indie rock band, but they decided to record a metal album. "I bang/my forehead/on a thing/then go oops." Also: "Dark p ...more
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Jun 17, 2014
Everything Was Fine Until Whatever
Officially out now on Future Tense! When Chelsea sent me her work about two years ago, I knew I had to do some kind of book with her. She's wildly tal ...more
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Apr 02, 2009
If I Falter at the Gallows
Mullany's poems are short, spooky things. They seem to distill life into hyper close-up, a white sheet falling from space or the all-encompassing hum ...more
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Jan 31, 2012
A Hundred Thousand Hours
Pretty cool cycle of poems, translated from the Norwegian and full of objects squirming to life and a twisted mother-daughter relationship. Sample:
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Feb 03, 2014
I Love You Is Back
I met Derrick a couple of years ago when I was awkwardly invited to read at the Las Vegas Poetry Festival (I'm not making this up). My Vegas boyfriend ...more
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Sep 10, 2008
Dear Jenny, We Are All Find
Jenny Zhang obviously likes to goof around. This disjointed grab bag of poems is full of unexpected exclamations like "I was wet and I farted dead spe ...more
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Apr 12, 2012
The Man Suit
Schomburg just moved to Portland and I think it's safe to say that he's my new favorite PDX poet. His poems display the playfulness of Russell Edson a ...more
Aug 29, 2008
Aug 12, 2008
Why I Am White
Svalina, the co-publisher of Octopus Books, loads this chapbook with a lot of great lines meditating (sometimes comically, sometimes obscurely) on the ...more
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Oct 08, 2008
Cool Memories
Fama seems to be all about asking questions and trying to answer them here. And it's often dazzling. "I'm going to deny my misery/And expand my need."
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Apr 17, 2014
Minnis is actually a former Portlander. She used to read at the Café Lena open mic back in the day (mid 90s) and I saw her a few times. She is usually ...more
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Apr 28, 2009
Appearances Fables & Drawings
Oh, man. I came really close to selling this little gem to someone at work yesterday. Luckily, I realized that it was probably too cool to pass up and ...more
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Apr 23, 2012
Black Life
After seeing her read a couple of times recently, I can't let go of that VOICE! I want to read everything by her now. This collection has many outstan ...more
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Aug 07, 2013
The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway
Knox is either a crazy person with a poet's brain or a poet with a crazy person's brain. This is another audacious book by one of the funniest writers ...more
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Dec 01, 2010
I Have Touched You
Holy crap! This one snuck up on me. Sherl's "linked stories" work in a similar way as my favorite poetry collections (like Mirov's Ghost Machine or Sc ...more
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Jun 27, 2011
Drunk by Noon
Another super funny and strange collection by Knox. It's the kind of stuff that makes your jaw drop and makes you think, "I can't believe she wrote th ...more
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Nov 29, 2007
In This Alone Impulse
First off, this is one of the most elegantly-designed books this year. The poems are set as word blocks and they breathe easily, each word given a nic ...more
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Apr 06, 2010
Texts From My Mom
The comedy of text-speak mixed with cleverly placed line breaks. A lot of really funny and endearing moments in this little chapbook. But it's not jus ...more
Sep 17, 2014
Sep 02, 2014
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