“A poem is an object made of words”: A conversation with Flemish poet, novelist, and art critic, Willem M. Roggeman

In re-reading the interview now, it is clear that Gary Snyder was just an entry point for me to have a conversation with a true renaissance man of poetry. I’m reminded of the Pakistani proverb that says when you share the first cup of tea, you are a stranger. With the second cup, you are a friend, and with the third cup, you become family. Mr. Roggeman and I sipped coffee during our conversation, and it was clear that we quickly moved through the three cups from strangers to friends.

A review of Hello Nothingness by Eric Stiefel

The contradictory images reflect themes throughout Stiefel’s verse, which oscillates between nihilism and contentment – or at least resignation and a sensual appreciation of the ephemera of the world. As he writes in the opening poem, “Lest”: “I devour everything I can, the mind defaced, a tattered gown, strawberry leaf, a statue, half-submerged.”

A review of thresholds by Philip Radmall

This ability to make us, as readers, ‘opener and unfamiliar’ is one the poet exploits deftly, peeling away any preconceptions we may have until we, too, see and feel his world anew. In part, this is down to his style. A novelist as well as a poet, Radmall’s poetry has many prose-like traits, in particular a freedom from rhyme or metre, heavily enjambed lines, and the hovering arc of a narrative.

How Light Comes Up Off the Lake: a review of Old Snow, White Sun by Caroline Goodwin

Not at all self conscious, these poems are quite deliberate, the made thing. Each has its note of authority, as in the first poem’s first image, “the common loon made a thumbprint on the lake.” Part elegy, part journal, part memoir, part love song, part accusation, part celebration, all in the voice a person with something to say, a poet with the ability to make a word—loon, cattails, meadow—all her own.

A review of The Other Mother by Rachel M. Harper

Harper’s novel will engage fans of generational sagas and family dramas where long-buried family histories and secrets are unearthed, and where past choices explicitly affect the present and future of others in a snowball effect. The novel excels at revealing motherhood—or parenting––truly: falling in love with a person you’ve helped to create, and, in doing so, loving yourself in ways you couldn’t imagine; knowing you will sacrifice absolutely everything for them. 

To Want and To Want: Desire in Shilo Niziolek’s Memoir Fever

My reading experience of Fever was equivalent to gulping down water after a long run. I read it with haste and curiosity. I became fascinated by desire and the way Niziolek intellectualizes her vulnerability, placing her own story among the work of contemporary writers, like Sarah Manguso, Jay Ponteri, and Mary Oliver, among others.