My copy of this book is filled with quickly scratched notes, annotation symbols only I understand, question marks, small open hearts, underlined sentences, circled words, messy smudges, angry creases. I struggled. I read and re-read. I wondered. I questioned. I chased. I stretched. At times I thought I might break, as well.
A review of Frank Dark by Stephen Massimilla
The book is replete with experiences of mental and physical crises, death and ghosts. Many themes resonate with the cover exploring sight/vision, the eye, the sea, the shore, and harbors. Imagery of light/lightning, the moon, lamps, clock, and swans recur throughout the book. The poems also display a sort of PTSD in the aftermath of near death experiences that he explores and shares with the reader.
States that Matter, a review of The Best of Tupelo Quarterly edited by Kristina Marie Darling
As a poet, my ultimate aim is to connect to my reader, so that I may get close to causing a moment of understanding, a resonance, a tapping-into of the unsayable. As a human, I feel nourished when art is not only allowed to break the mould, but it is celebrated for doing so. The rules of the universe only help us understand a fraction of what is happening to us.
A review of Text Messages from the Universe by Richard James Allen
This is philosophy at its best, to exist or not, or as Shakespeare put it “to be or not to be”. Allan makes you think, consider, and reflect, and he does it in a very clever way utilising poetic devices and intelligent lines. The poet’s voice is very convincing, whether he uses sophisticated language or everyday language, his unique style draws the reader into the narration.
Matadors Are Metaphors, a Review of When Correlation is Causation by Heikki Huotari
It would be limiting to call these prose poems or even language poems; they eschew labels. Better to think of them as ventures in language, in reality, in the probable, and the possible. To achieve a pattern, the poet uses a number of devices. “To the horseless carriage I say get a horse.”
A review of Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín and other poems by Oisin Breen
But it’s serious, deadly serious. Written with care, and with love for language. At first sight, there seems to be something infernally unruly about Oisín Breen’s poetry, until you spot the fact that the structure is there, recognisable but bloody oneiric, lulling you into a false sense of security and then ripping itself up and changing.
A review of The Alphabet According to Several Strange Creatures by Simon Nader
Containing 26 well crafted parts, written in poetic couplets, this body of work exercised us of assonance, allegory, homonyms, rhyme, as well as other distinguished poetic techniques. These techniques charge this body of work and set it ablaze.
A review of Sea Skins by Sophia Wilson
Wilson works every word with the precision of a linguist, drawing out the sounds of words, “The tick-tock knock of one hundred clocks” or “three shells cantering takka tak takka tak”. Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme, parataxis – the poems employ a range of techniques that make them aurally beautiful
A review of Oh My Rapture by Gemma White
Hidden amongst all the coarseness and slang words there is gentleness and poignancy, as you read page by page you can feel it. There is a voice impregnated in the words of the poems that are like two forces, forces that propel and repel each other.
A review of Dug-Up Gun Museum by Matt Donovan
Donovan’s poems, sensitive and unflinchingly brave, pull us through this grisly reality, showing our country’s stubborn and sick fascination with guns, and downright reverence. We are expected to bury our human dead, and accept that guns will be dug-up. Not as relics, but as emblems of American freedom. New guns will be manufactured and purchased every day. Made to do what guns do.