I wrote of relatable Heather Awad's debut poetry collection was when I finished it, and her follow up book of poems, The Lovely Brush, is certainly noI wrote of relatable Heather Awad's debut poetry collection was when I finished it, and her follow up book of poems, The Lovely Brush, is certainly no different. The one difference is just how much her poetry has blossomed between the collections. Heather is a contemporary poet that largely draws from ordinary themes and observations for her poetry. Like Christina Strigas or even Ellen Bass, she shines a light into the overlooked corners of her life and settles them before her readers for study and dissection. Work, parenting, sex, relationships, conversations, her flawed childhood; she highlights them all in the strategic and natural placement of her lines. She is a fearless poet. She writes of her life with an understanding that strangers will see her personally. And thank god for that....more
Ever since I first directed my hungry gaze at Winter Goose Publishing, I'd been reading as many of their books of poetry as I could afford. That practEver since I first directed my hungry gaze at Winter Goose Publishing, I'd been reading as many of their books of poetry as I could afford. That practice, even after being fortunate and persistent enough to sign with WGP, never ceased. I've never encountered a publishing house with such an arsenal of really good, solid poets. It's kind of shocking! Every collection I've read from WGP has been exquisite. And that holds true with the latest offering I've had a chance to read. Who Will Love the Crow by Miriam Dunn is that poet's debut with WGP. Dunn resides in eastern Canada, and that Atlantic air has seeped into her prose. It seems redundant to call a poetry collection "poetic", but that was the first word that came to mind when I read this collection. Dunn is a poet of immense talent, and she utilizes several different poetic tools with her work. There are several pieces with rhyming, which seems to me to be a rarity in much contemporary poetry. It causes her work to seem traditionally-inspired and cerebral. Dunn also utilizes the standard haiku form on occasion, and most of her poems are comprised of short lines. These poems are concise and beautiful. They're gorgeous themes and imagery elegantly packaged into a readable contemporary form that hearkens also back to romanticists. Her work is also rife with sensuality and tension. They're brooding and also hopeful. It should also be noted that throughout the collection, gorgeous photographs are perfectly-paired to several poems. You reach the end of a particular piece and behold an image that brings the whole piece together. Come to find out, these photos are done by Dunn's daughter. It looks like there's creativity aplenty in that family. My favorite pieces were "Crows", "Undressed", and "The Ocean is too Big". "Crows" is conversational in nature, written as dialogue. It almost reads like flash fiction. "Undressed" is very pleasurably suggestive, as several of Dunn's poems in this collection are. My favorite poem in the book is "The Ocean is too Big". It contains my favorite lines in the whole collection:
"The ocean is too big but still I find you."
Miriam Dunn is a remarkable poet, and Who Will Love the Crow is a remarkable collection of poetry. Order it ASAP. Read it. Discover why Winter Goose Publishing is at the pinnacle of contemporary poetry....more
I'm speechless. Almost. What Billy Collins deems his debut collection, "The Apple That Astonished Paris", has humbled me. What a master Collins is, whI'm speechless. Almost. What Billy Collins deems his debut collection, "The Apple That Astonished Paris", has humbled me. What a master Collins is, what an American master that arranges simple language into poems blazing with poignancy and importance. He humanizes everything from "time" to "emotions", and he's got a metaphor for any and every circumstance. This collection was arranged into two sections, the first being AWAY and the second being HOME. The poems comprising HOME were much more my style, and have solidified Collins' place in my own personal literary pantheon of poets. I crave more work of his, and can't wait to indulge myself of his collections....more
This was my first time reading Jen Karetnick poetry, and I was clueless to what I was getting into. This collection of contemporary poems describe a gThis was my first time reading Jen Karetnick poetry, and I was clueless to what I was getting into. This collection of contemporary poems describe a gamut of topics and situations (some humorous, some degrading, some deeply personal, some emotional, some dark, some light) but the main theme and focus of this work is the human condition. Poem after poem about mental health and physiology. These are analytical poems that humanize "highbrow" medical questions and insights, granting the reader a deeper understanding of such things. These poems rang true for me; I connected with several of them on a personal level. It's safe to say that I've never encountered a collection such as this! Well done, Jen! I feel you've broken through well-trod poetic pathways into something very human and original. That is certainly to be commended....more
Acclaimed poet Loren Kleinman's "Stay With Me Awhile" has written such an engaging book of poetry here. This prose is quick, fluid and brilliantly reaAcclaimed poet Loren Kleinman's "Stay With Me Awhile" has written such an engaging book of poetry here. This prose is quick, fluid and brilliantly real, relevant to this contemporary world we live in and wonderfully revealing of the poet's life, her loves and lusts and emotions. Kleinman is obviously a fearless poet and not modest about the affection and melancholy woven into her prose. This is a special collection, and I highly recommend it....more