Author: Guest Reviewer

REVIEW: SPELLS OF MY NAME – I.S. JONES (NEWFOUND)

This entire collection is a canal–a wrenching chasm opening for rebirth–a witness to the psyche, split apart, in a world ruled by men who abandoned their humanity for the sake of domination. – Melissa Ferrer

REVIEW: LEXICON OF FUTURE SELVES – GRETCHEN ROCKWELL (VEGETARIAN ALCOHOLIC PRESS)

Again and again, we see the speaker face the tension of negotiating and accepting who they are up against the self-limiting modes of the world they live in. – Steve Henn

REVIEW: WASHED AWAY – SHIKSHA DHEDA (ALIEN BUDDHA PRESS)

Each poem is a subtle reminder that those who experience mental illness are not alone. – Caitie L. Young

REVIEW: PLUMSTUFF – ROLLI (8th House Publishing)

His poems are full of the energy and playfulness and good humor of a poet who takes things thoughtfully but not too seriously. – Steve Henn

REVIEW: AS SHE APPEARS – SHELLEY WONG (YESYES BOOKS)

With a hint of irony she reminds us of all the rules we’ve been exposed to growing up, of the smallest signs we have to use every day to express ourselves in front of the societal expectations. – Valentina Linardi

REVIEW: NOT FLOWERS – NOREEN OCAMPO (VARIANT LIT)

This collection of life-flowers reminds us that life may be ordinary, but this ordinary may just be lovely enough to convince us that we want to be in it. – Melissa Ferrer

REVIEW: SOMEWHERE A WOMAN LOWERS THE HEM OF HER SKIRT – LAURIE RACHKUS UTTICH (RIOT IN YOUR THROAT)

“Whether through trauma endured in war, drug use, or poor living environment, Uttich pulls the reader into a leaving with traces of those absences”. – Catie L. Young

REVIEW: HEADLESS JOHN THE BAPTIST HITCHHIKING – C.T. SALAZAR (ACRE BOOKS)

“The idea of losing blood to be filled with salvation, to make sacrifices, to hitchhike trying to find a way home – these speak to overarching themes throughout”. – Amanda Rabaduex

REVIEW: CONNOTARY – AE HEE LEE (BULL CITY PRESS)

Connotary is an incantation into remembrance. And an edification from where one has been and is always going. And still is also this gift, this display, of honor and renewal. – Melissa Ferrer

REVIEW: THE SCIENCE OF DEPARTURES – ADALBER SALAS HERNANDEZ / TRANS. BY ROBIN MYERS (KENNING EDITIONS)

“The Science of Departures is the product of a poet whose words double as his hands, and there is so much to read – so much to feel”. – Lyra Taylor

Cover of This House

REVIEW: THIS HOUSE – REHEMA NJAMBI (THE EMMA PRESS)

“When we write about family, we tread a complicated tightrope between sentimentality and honesty; The way that Njambi writes about family is what pulls each poem together”. – Caitie L. Young

REVIEW: SPEAKING CON SU SOMBRA – ADRIAN ERNESTO CEPEDA (ALEGRIA PUBLISHING)

These emotional trinkets become the void where sadness echoes. – Marisa Silva-Dunbar

REVIEW: EVERY JOURNAL IS A PLAGUE JOURNAL – RAYE HENDRIX (BOTTLECAP PRESS)

“Hendrix does not shy away from the complex, daily horrors that were ushered in, and the microscopic to multidimensional trauma that came from hearing the city cheer nightly, like a ritual or like war”. – Rachael Crosbie

REVIEW: EDEN – ROBERT FREDE KENTER (FLOODLIGHT EDITIONS)

“It is a compelling masterpiece of a book that I recommend to all who love visual poetry and those willing to delve into something new.” – Kari Flickinger

REVIEW: LINEAGE OF RAIN – JANEL PINEDA (HAYMARKET)

“Pineda isn’t injecting a false sense of optimism into her collection, but rather the whole narrative arc is meticulously designed, starting with the positives before masterfully shifting into the reality”. – Joseph Edwin Haegar

GETTING THE GURLZ: AN INTERVIEW WITH I.S. JONES

“If someone is perceived as “conventionally attractive” then their pain is taken more seriously, or to be frank, people care more about their suffering.” – I.S. JONES

REVIEW: THIS SMALL MACHINE OF PRAYER – BETH GORDON (KELSAY BOOKS)

Snapshots of a life lived with those small mundane moments that create someone’s very existence, only to shatter our hopes that it’d turn out differently…. – @Joseph Edwin Haeger

REVIEW: EVERYTHING SAVED WILL BE LAST – ISAAC PICKELL (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)

This book isn’t about what we wish we could have said. No, it’s a collection full of things we’re too afraid to talk about.

REVIEW: WE RECORD THE FIRST LINE – PHOEBE WAGNER (CUP & DAGGER)

There is a sense of independence and protest, a polite shake of the head at social norms that says, “Thanks, but no thanks. We have our own way of doing things”. – Lannie Stabile

GETTING THE GURLZ: AN INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELLE BATES

Khalisa Rae sat down with Gabrielle Bates, poet, podcast host, educator, gorgeous-picture taker, and all-around good person.

REVIEW: PILGRIM BELL – KAVEH AKBAR (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

Pilgrim Bell takes you to a different you, past, present, and future. Each poem twisted my reality in such a way that it didn’t fully twist back. A new flexibility. 

REVIEW: APPLE SKIN – KELSIE COLCLOUGH (SWORD & KETTLE / CUP & DAGGER).

All in all, it’s a one for one exchange of the original myth, albeit more fleshed out, modern, and quietly queer. – Lannie Stabile

REVIEW: LOVE MOST OF YOU TOO – DUSTIN BROOKSHIRE (HARBOR EDITIONS)

This chapbook showcases a voice reclaiming words meant to hurt, detailing the traits wanted in a lover, and reminding the reader “not to accept what’s in front of you / at face value.”