Dresses from the Old Country
Jun, 03 2019 | no responses
In this compact yet expansive collection of poems, Laura Read places herself on a chair across from inhabitants of her past and present. She has risen to the occasion to reflect lyrically and with kindness upon the shadows that have hovered over her, shadows thrown by little boxes of stories and place that continue to impact her adulthood as a woman, wife, mother, poet and teacher.
May, 29 2019 | no responses
What’s more, Brown’s development of the “duplex”—a sonnet-like repetitive form, whose name recalls apartment-style housing—showcases an adept talent for eloquent lyricism. Perhaps what sets it apart, however, is Brown’s penchant for optimism, rooted in an appraisal of physicality and the beauty of particulars.
Age of Glass
May, 23 2019 | no responses
Hong’s literary landscape is the sonnet. All but three poems riff on this form. Hong’s sonnet disrupts this male-dominated box, this literary container, yet retains its echoes—especially via her stanzas corresponding to a given sonnet’s structure, quatrains followed by couplet or by two tercets (a sestet).
May, 22 2019 | no responses
Ultimately, we are left with an existence, the poet seems to suggest, that hovers between the present moment and the promise—or disappointment, depending on one’s perspective—of perpetual return, if not quite renewal. We ask but don’t always receive.
May, 21 2019 | no responses
The body knows, can achieve this knowledge through mythic journeys and discipline, but there’s a kind of inevitable transformation into an unrecognizable world, in part through the narrating of such violence into a mythology to be consumed instead of heeded. Webster navigates such delicate language and tonal work throughout these poems, using figures like Deborah and Tiresias (once transformed into a woman) to navigate the particular ways that female bodies register such sight and violence.
May, 20 2019 | no responses
Instead, lines, and the rhetoric that they contain, shuffle forward and back, make progress and contradict themselves through a series of non-sequiturs, leaps, and half-finished aphorisms. The poems feel deliberately cobbled together, as if crafted by lumping randomly associated thoughts and overheard phrases. At times, the collection’s aesthetic resembles that of John Ashbery, who sweeps together scraps and leftover bits of unrelated language in his poems.