Piano in the Dark

Set during the wider context of the global pandemic and within the personal history of the speaker’s grappling with cancer, Nancy Naomi Carlson’s Piano in the Dark looks at the latent danger within “everything in nature,” as in a startling untitled villanelle she dedicated to her late sister-in-law, Roxanne Miller: Everything in nature contains its […]

Then Telling Be the Antidote

I likened this collection, after an initial reading, to a canvas by Kandinsky, where broad strokes of vivid color and delicate, lyrical passages are very often underscored by an unease, a kind of muted protest. It’s a combination which proves immediately effective, and which generates real admiration for a poet confident in her art—a poet […]

Three Books for Autumns Fading Splendor: Three Recommendations from the Poetry Reviews Editor

Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action by Jordan Dunn (2022) Partly Press The leaves in Fort Collins, following the season’s first snow, are far past peak color and mostly fallen, dry-brown, on the ground. It puts one in a pensive mood, walking the dog each morning, and three books­—some finished a few days ago, another […]

Chariot

Form and voice unite the lyrical menagerie of Chariot, Timothy Donnelly’s fourth collection of poetry. Each page offers newness, creating a self-contained experience, a capsule of insight or subversion; a poem in Chariot might reflect on the lived world versus portrayal on social media, or build from the scent of marigolds, a concept from philosophy, […]

The Daughter of Man

Forgive me the spoiler, but L. J. Sysko’s debut poetry collection The Daughter of Man ends with the most comprehensive set of notes I have ever seen. These five pages of notes, so exhaustive they almost form a poem unto themselves, cover everything from an unlisted quote by Andy Warhol to S. E. Hinton’s novel […]

Birthday

Photo by Ruslan Valeev on Unsplash   I told the mortician to mix our ashes I wish to see you as a speck of sand maybe a fistful of waves gnashing until white stone all the lilies bursting from this rapture your opal lips shiver like two harp strings I pluck a symphony from the […]

Discrepancies

Photo by Torbjørn Helgesen on Unsplash   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow . . . —Gerard Manley Hopkins The place under the awning             where it hasn’t rained. The seat belts in the taxi all             with puzzling or hidden buckles. The daffodils inside my shadow.             The glass of melted ice. The spiderweb that […]

Rhythmic Chant

Photo by michael weir on Unsplash   I look at my childhood & imagine what isn’t there archived                         blank pages partially erased artifacts we all live in a barter system trading our favorite worst memories I social you a tongue I appeal you a slanted pear orchard throat                     & we share it gladly I research […]