The Book

Flipping through a beautiful new collection of poetry to find that it is actually a collection of prose poems is a little daunting. I worry that it will require a kind of energy that I don’t usually tap into when reading verse poetry. But from the first, Mary Ruefle’s new collection, The Book, turns that […]

The Dreams We Share

Raphael Block’s new collection, The Dreams We Share, is a work of sustained and reverent attention to the natural world. The poet’s fifth book, it contains eighty-nine poems in five sections, and names over a hundred different plants and nearly as many species of birds, animals, and insects. This abundance might suggest the volume reads […]

Tiny Extravaganzas

Diane Mehta’s Tiny Extravaganzas is an exploration of muses and isolation, and with references to Milton, Dante, and Whitman, her imagistic poems push language and forms to their extremes. Uniting the poems and creating a deep sense of fluidity is the inherent focus on the role art plays in living and existing in a world […]

If Some God Shakes Your House

Franklin reminds us that Tragedy may be the most appropriate response to tragedy in this fierce and accomplished work. Living with past trauma enlightens the present day at every turn, showing itself in small things. We contain tragedy, give tragedy a different voice, bounce tragedy off our environs and our reading lists, and still, there […]

The Upstate

In a time of environmental and civic toxicity, Lindsay Turner attends to our flailing integrity in her second collection, The Upstate, which opens with a screencast image of contemporary Eden and closes in contemplation of human need. Between, Turner introduces the effects of industrial pollution, seeks to weave protective spells in her community, and ultimately […]

Soft Apocalypse

Leah Nieboer’s stunning debut collection of poems, Soft Apocalypse, captures the visceral experience of a body—cosmically alone, contending with illness, often on the move—as her dislocated speaker passes through a series of fractured sites and shadowed scenes. Spare, crystalline lyrics with minimal capitalization and punctuation are scaffolded by prose poems at irregular intervals, each one […]

A Face Out of Clay

*** FORTHCOMING JUNE 2024 / THE MOUNTAIN/WEST POETRY SERIES *** Written at the convergence of imagination and memory, A Face Out of Clay delves deep into childhood experiences and cultural identity. Through eloquent verses and poignant imagery, alternating between narrative and lyric poems, the book paints a complicated portrait of a bi-national speaker. The poems […]

Before the Confession

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash   Something there, smaller and meaner than before— where the palm of the hand rests on the collarbone— ails me. I’m sure that’s where the shame is. How it shrank like an old walnut, what was once the locust-heart of summer. The meadowlark’s V for victory over the yellow […]

Sestina Obbligato

Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash   The orchestra ambushes me with Mahler’s Fifth. I never played; I have no innate sense of music, so it’s a shock to feel the brass ransack my body. Stop I rasp when the trumpets make my edges blur and a solo horn tugs my soul through my throat. Stop. […]

The Cabinet

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash   I must remember to open the cabinet of forgotten things. That’s where the bottles are. Bottles of solutions that enhance memory. Or do they stoke the imagination? I think I recall the lock’s combination. Isn’t it the date of a French king’s death? Or the net worth of […]