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A review of Anamnesis By Denise O’Hagan

Anamnesis opens a door into what it means to be human. O’Hagan ponders subjects of perennial relevance in fresh literary ways, always with a convincing naturalness, whether the language is sophisticated or everyday. Even a box of useless items takes on a profound poetic rhythm in O’Hagan’s skilful hands.  

A review of Ore Choir: The Lava on Iceland by Katy Didden

Didden’s poetry is thick, like the hot, oozing lava that permeates the land – the “postvolcanic landscape.”  We are further drawn in by the history, the tributaries of ancient Icelandic poetry, “its craters of dove-gray ashes matted with snow, / attracts artists who siege eddas in the rills.”  These powerful lines draw out the significance of Icelandic poetry in our time.

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A Cottonmouth with a Laptop: A review of Stay Gone Days by Steve Yarbrough

Some forty years ago, in Jackson, not far Loring, a similar bottle of Four Roses was opened. It’s a significant detail in this story of the Cole sisters, that ends where it began, that comes full circle, with many detours along the way. Individuals, with marked differences, both sisters are resilient, vulnerable, and passionate, characters so life-like a reader feels “the air making contact with their skin.”

A review of Earshot by Sam Morley

Sam Morley is a brilliant storyteller, the stories in the poems are written in a language that is dynamic and stylistic as well as entertaining. The work evokes emotions, coupled with strong tension, but not in a heavy way.

A review of This Place That Place By Nandita Dinesh

With a novel this boldly experimental, it is hard to get very far in a discussion of influences without Beckett’s name coming up. But that is just one of the names in a diverse stew. Dinesh said that Beckett and others represent some of the less conscious influences here, and other visionaries more directly inspired the themes, tone, and style of This Place That Place.

A review of Lady Director by Joyce Chopra

Only, how to break into the male-dominated world of film? Not that that was her explicit goal when she graduated, but one thing she did not want to do?  “There weren’t many jobs available for a young woman of twenty-one with a degree in comparative literature,” she writes, but she didn’t want to become a secretary. If she did that, “I would irrevocably land on the slippery slope to nowhere.”

A review of The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass

The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers is not exactly a story begging you to unravel it (the happily ever after is apparent early on) but it does make one thing clear – Adam Sass is just as capable a builder of romance as he is of mystery. And Micah Summers’ story benefits from Sass’s adept management of both genres. 

Love of Language: an Affirmation: A Review of Tina Cane’s Year of the Murder Hornet

The title poem is a road map to the rest of the collection, both in content and in form.  The poem begins with a “cloud of pollen” that chases the ‘I’ and encompasses a myriad of recent occurrences:  being “overpowered” by magnolia petals, which the reader might consider positive, but which overwhelms the ‘I’; the “murder hornet” itself, that threatens on a literal level but also represents the consequences of human behavior, such as the increasing frequency of viruses like the coronavirus, weather and climate change, and the horrors in the daily news.  

A review of The Night Divers by Melanie McCabe

As you move through the poetry in this collection, it may seem as if the writer is resolved to experience her pain in its most primordial form, without barrier, defense, or comfort. Such sentiments break the surface in “Martyr”: “I permit myself neither opiate nor anodyne. I poke my finger straight into the socket—press my tongue hard to the ice-slick chain link.” The atonement of a survivor is operative here, but there is more.