Category: Poetry Reviews

Boxed in to Today: A review of Apartmentalized by Dan Flore II

Paradoxically, the poet is at home and not at home, as alienated from himself as he is from his apartment and the complex of apartments in these poems. As a sequence they have a structure of irony.  The poet’s self-conflict is expressed in his descriptions of neighbors and people who work at the complex.

A review of Shore Lines by Andrew Taylor

In all of Taylor’s poems the imagery is rich and detailed. Some of the poems take reflective turns, with themes of nostalgia and memory, often juxtaposing the strength of nature with human vulnerability and the persistence of memory. 

A review of Days of Grace and Silence by Ann E. Wallace

Days of Grace And Silence, Ann E. Wallace’s profoundly moving and necessary poetry collection on living through Long Covid, makes us remember the things we may want to forget. And how important it is not to forget, as she writes, I fight to remember the story/ of me. Even though each of our stories are different, Wallace’s poems shed light on our own.

A review of earthwork by Jill Khoury

horse is a metaphor. It represents inner self, yearning for movement, kindness, courage, grace, leadership. There has to be trust and respect between the master and the friendly beast, a delicate line representing boundaries. It is a mirror that reflects the environment and also treatment of the master towards one’s horse. There is mystery in that amazing hard-earned trust.

A review of Homelight by Lola Haskins

Elegant in their refined, fluent use of words and eloquent in their visions and messages, these are luminous poems. While some poems are nearly haiku-short, others contain many stanzas, yet all resonate with beguiling, stirring words from a poet with a close connection to the natural world and an intense perceptiveness.

A review of Turn Up the Heat by Ruth Danon

Light and heat serve as central metaphors for comfort. They represent the warmth Danon so desperately craves as an antidote to the cold she fears. Her fear is deeply rooted in the uncertainty and anxiety that accompany illness and hospitalization.

A review of Small Altars by Justin Gardiner

While the reader gets a sense of the arc of Aaron Gardiner’s life, Small Altars is written in short, episodic passages, jumping back and forth in time, some describing family scenes, others expository discussions of medical conditions, from schizophrenia to various cancers, the elements of comic book composition (both “on the page” and in conception as character and plot), biographical descriptions of various historical personalities – Claude Debussy, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Georges Remi among them – and more.

A review of Farhang Book One by Patrick Woodcock

Each poem is a work of art to be read and revisited time and again. Like a painting, the line length and shape of the poem can be continuously analysed and when we look at Woodcock’s work this way, we notice that even the most thematically brutal of poems can contain exquisitely beautiful images, full of nuance, subtlety and shade.

A review of Flatback Sally Country by Rachel Custer

Using simple language, in a variety of poetic forms, Custer has created a powerful work that called out to me for compassion. I’ve heard Custer read from this collection and now, reading the entire book, I must say there is only one thing that could add to the beauty and impact of the work: performing the complete collection on stage as a choreographed play.