Category: THE REVIEWS

REVIEW: OTHER PEOPLE’S COMFORT KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT – MORGAN PARKER (TIN HOUSE)

“Parker is someone who immediately displays a deep understanding of the human condition. She’s also terrifyingly comfortable with vulnerability, unique for first collections”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20: EPISODE 3 – DANEZ SMITH

Courtney and Chris Margolin sit down with Danez Smith this week to discuss Passions, Process, Pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: A NET TO CATCH MY BODY IN ITS WEAVING – KATIE FARRIS (BELOIT POETRY JOURNAL)

“… the poems also work to remind readers about the oft-ignored moments of grace that surround difficult times”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

EVERYTHING IS POETRY: IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY TO GO INSIDE

“When you’re an 8th grader with a blog where you write sad heartbreak lyrics, a lot of forehead acne, and long, swoopy bangs in hopes it covers it up, something’s gotta give. I had to own up to something, and the thing I took back was my smile.” – Alex Dang

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: YOU BETTER BE LIGHTNING – ANDREA GIBSON (BUTTON POETRY)

But what stands out most in You Better Be Lightning is grace, for themselves and, often, for those who have harmed them.

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: BLERD: ‘80s BABY, ‘90s KID – CHRIS L. BUTLER (DAILY DRUNK MAGAZINE)

Butler uses a seamless combination of 90s pop culture and imagery with slick rhymes and beautiful sonic and tonal qualities. These are poems that demand to be performed on a stage and to be read studiously at your desk. The musicality he brings elevates the feeling of nostalgia into a full soundtrack; you can see the protagonist walking to their perfect theme song. – Alex Dang

TALK TO ME: MORDECAI MARTIN W/ LANNIE STABILE

“The reverence isn’t in the experiences, it’s in the powerful men. A woman is supposed to feel flattered when a man finds her irresistible. This book is a middle finger to that expectation”. – Lannie Stabile

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

TPQ WEEKEND EXPANSION PACK #1

We’ve Got Questions! You’ve Got Answers! Download a New Question Image Each Week and Collect Them All!

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: BORN IN A SECOND LANGUAGE – AKOSUA ZIMBA AFIRIYIE-HWEDIE (BUTTON POETRY)

When mother tongue is villain, are you person or correction? When God and mother are both concerned with safety, but neither with voice, does safety exist?

REVIEW: BLOODWARM – TAYLOR BYAS (VARIANT LIT)

Bloodwarm has the ability to turn heads, create conversation, and lead you toward change.

REVIEW: DOPPLEGANGBANGER – CORTNEY LAMAR CHARLESTON (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Because it’s not easy to discover your voice or yourself inside a world that doesn’t love you – or at least doesn’t love you back.

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.”

REVIEWS: “THE DANDELION SPEAKS OF SURVIVAL” QUINTIN COLLINS (CHERRY CASTLE PUBLISHING)

What makes The Dandelion Speaks of Survival special is that it is more than a collection by a Black writer, but rather an Ode to Blackness.

REVIEW: “MIXTAPES” – RACHAEL CROSBIE (ELJ EDITIONS)

In each poem, readers can feel the undeniable aspect that, like nearly all mixtapes, this chapbook is for somebody (at the very least, the amalgamation of “you” that exists in all of our longings).

REVIEW: HOW SHE READ – CHANTAL GIBSON (CAITLIN PRESS)

At what point does language become meaningless? When does language actually lose its power?

REVIEW: DESCANSOS – KATHERINE OSBORNE (SALO PRESS)

Animals burn. Volcanos erupt. We aren’t told the story necessarily as it is; we are told how it feels to live and remember it.

REVIEW: PICNIC IN THE ABATTOIR – EMMA HYCHE (DANCING GIRL PRESS)

But as the moments move forward, nothing breaking through the quiet, we are met with the release of breath the speaker has been holding for far too long

REVIEW: GOD’S BOY – ANDREW HAHN (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)

If this is what it means to be godly, why would anyone stay? And if you are already considered to be straying, why not have some fun with it?

REVIEW: SEE WHAT LIFE IS LIKE – DOROTHY SPENCER (LUMPEN)

See What Life is Like, is dark and brutal, unsparing in ugly detail. But during a first aid course last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how smart and accurate her writing is. 

REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)

REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)

Shan’s natural metaphors connect the experiences in this collection to a deep relationship with the physical world, grounding these stories into the earth.

REVIEW: Perhaps There Is a Sky We Don’t Know: A Re-imaging of Sappho – Ann Pedone

REVIEW: PERHAPS THERE IS A SKY WE DON’T KNOW: A REIMAGINING OF SAPPHO – ANNE PEDONE

Pedone’s poems are more demure than a cleverly placed erection joke, however. She unironically uses words like nectar, taste, and swollen…

REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)

REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)

The poem claims to forbid but finds that grief is not powerful enough to truly erase the names of things.

REVIEW: STRANGERS – ROB TAYLOR (BIBLIOASIS)

REVIEW: STRANGERS – ROB TAYLOR (BIBLIOASIS)

Even if it can be painful, love will not settle down into abstraction. It reaches its fingers into the world, pinches and pulls.

REVIEW: COMB – SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI (SABLE BOOKS)

REVIEW: COMB – SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI (SABLE BOOKS)

Migration challenges us to examine the “essence” of what makes us, us, and Hashmi duly documents the details.

REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)

REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)

These are the voices and verses of street children. Their stories of hardship and trauma, their dreams and hopes. 

REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)

REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)

Hazen has an acute ability to make a reader feel many unwanted things. Like recollection. Like commiseration. Like retroactive fear.

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: AMERICAN CAVEWALL SONNETS – C. T. SALAZAR (BULL CITY PRESS)

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: AMERICAN CAVEWALL SONNETS – C. T. SALAZAR (BULL CITY PRESS)

At what point does poetry transcend to testimony? What are the requirements? Is it the intersectionality of varying experience or moving tales of perseverance?

REVIEW: NEON HOLLYWOOD COWBOY – MATT MITCHELL

REVIEW: NEON HOLLYWOOD COWBOY – MATT MITCHELL (BIG LUCKS)

Made to look like a vinyl, the Neon Hollywood Cowboy fails not to be a soundtrack fit for queering what we know as the cowboy, the body, the wild west as depicted in hollywood.

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: BLACK WICK: SELECTED ELEGIES – SHARON KENNEDY-NOLLE (VARIANT LITERATURE)

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: BLACK WICK: SELECTED ELEGIES – SHARON KENNEDY-NOLLE (VARIANT LIT)

“Utilizing heavy subject matter, vivid descriptions of the experience of losing a child are expressed. This collection of poems carries stories many of us hope never to know, but in those of us who have, seek sorely to truly discuss.”

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: LET GO OF THE HANDS YOU HOLD – MARISSA GLOVER (MERCER UNIVERSITY PRESS)

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: LET GO OF THE HANDS YOU HOLD – MARISSA GLOVER (MERCER UNIVERSITY PRESS)

When I open this collection, I approach it differently than I would most. I flip pages and find connections in what could be disjointed and unconnected things.

REVIEW: GHOST IN A BLACK GIRL’S THROAT – KHALISA RAE (RED HEN PRESS)

REVIEW: GHOST IN A BLACK GIRL’S THROAT – KHALISA RAE (RED HEN PRESS)

This is a rally cry for self-hood. For respect. For dreams once had that can be had again. This is written to give voice to the timid, a path to the promise of never again escaping the you who you always thought you could be.

REVIEW: THE MATRIX – N.H. PRITCHARD (PRIMARY INFORMATION and UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)

REVIEW: THE MATRIX – N.H. PRITCHARD (PRIMARY INFORMATION and UGLY DUCKLING PRESS)

The collection is ultra-visual, a singing arrangement of offerings that has eyes of its own, old eyes that gaze at us from source, unblinking, revealing nothing (and everything). 

REVIEW: BY BUS – ERICA VAN HORN (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)

REVIEW: BY BUS – ERICA VAN HORN (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)

You find yourself next to the man licking the eczema on his arm, or next to the singing bus driver.  Some of the people you meet on the bus will be lovely; others will be objectionable.

REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS) – REV. BY MARIE ISABEL MATTHEWS-SCHLINZIG

REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS)

Again and again, the poems invite us to follow them into landscapes familiar and foreign, present and past, and observe their colours, textures, atmosphere

“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX

“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX

I think the rewards of communicating through neurodivergence are not using up energy on masking and hiding. Plus then embodying the fact that humans think/feel/experience the world differently. 

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PROFIT | PROPHET – PATRICK BLAGRAVE (RECENTER PRESS)

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PROFIT | PROPHET – PATRICK BLAGRAVE (RECENTER PRESS)

While this review differs from my traditional approach, I welcome this variation without question. We must face the reality in which we stand in terms (and conditions) of the captor we simply label as debt.

REVIEW: MEDUSA RETOLD – SARAH WALLIS (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)

REVIEW: MEDUSA RETOLD – SARAH WALLIS (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)

The epic sets apart internal and external narratives through the usage of italic sections, but these lines start to blur as the story unfolds, reinforcing that our internal lives are inseparable from the outside world. 

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PALM LINES – JONATHAN KOVEN (TOHO PUBLISHING)

REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PALM LINES – JONATHAN KOVEN (TOHO PUBLISHING)

Since completing its pages, I daydream of skies raining amethyst and words of wisdom yelled from random apartments windows.

REVIEW: THE WORLD ISN’T THE SIZE OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ANYMORE – AUSTIN DAVIS (WEASEL PRESS)

REVIEW: THE WORLD ISN’T THE SIZE OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ANYMORE – AUSTIN DAVIS (WEASEL PRESS)

It’s an age of transition, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, on the blurry path to independence. 

REVIEW: LESBIAN FASHION STRUGGLES – CAROLINE EARLEYWINE (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)

REVIEW: LESBIAN FASHION STRUGGLES – CAROLINE EARLEYWINE (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)

What does it mean to live within a body that has been projected upon and harmed? What does it mean to want to be seen anyway?

REVIEW: TRICKS OF LIGHT – THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI (GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA)

REVIEW: TRICKS OF LIGHT – THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI (GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA)

He seems to consider care to be of utmost concern, not just for family, but also for strangers.

REVIEW: BREEZE BLOCK – JAKE HAWKEY (LUMPEN/THE CLASS PROJECT)

REVIEW: BREEZE BLOCK – JAKE HAWKEY (LUMPEN/THE CLASS PROJECT)

There’s the story — love, relationships — and the reader follows the dots Hawkey has so carefully placed. In the same poem, the dots are connected between pop culture and the reader

REVIEW: LOOK LOOK LOOK – CALLISTA BUCHEN (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)

REVIEW: LOOK LOOK LOOK – CALLISTA BUCHEN (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)

There’s a sense of absence in this first section as the mother’s body becomes a singular state once again, but there’s also a slip from autonomy.

REVIEW: WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP – JESSIE LYNN McMAINS (BONE & INK PRESS)

REVIEW: WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP – JESSIE LYNN McMAINS (BONE & INK PRESS)

They are unafraid to show the awfulness and bitterness, old beliefs and traditions, terrible acts inflicted by the people who inhabit the snowy state.

REVIEW: SELF-PORTRAIT AS A SINKING SHIP – ERICA ABBOTT (TOHO PUBLISHING)

REVIEW: SELF-PORTRAIT AS A SINKING SHIP – ERICA ABBOTT (TOHO PUBLISHING)

At times, certain stanzas feel like diary entries not meant for us to read– intimate glimpses into tormenting experiences: the illness of a parent, the paralysis of true friendship, the lure of self-harm, the temptation of suicide. –

DISINTEGRATION – PAUL ROBERT MULLEN (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

DISINTEGRATION – PAUL ROBERT MULLEN (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

Very often I felt as though the poem depicted a moment I was forgetting; frantically trying to remember the details to, as to savor some beautiful moment.

#TPQ5: JADE HURTER

#TPQ5: JADE HURTER
What will Jade Hurter include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!

REVIEW: WORN – ADRIENNE CHRISTIAN (SANTA FE WRITERS PROJECT)

Review of Worn by Adrienne Christian (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2020)

And when she writes of family, it’s of more exclusion – the striking disconnect from those with whom we are supposed to be connected.

REVIEW: YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A FRIEND – ASHLEY ELIZABETH (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW PRESS)

REVIEW: YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A FRIEND – ASHLEY ELIZABETH (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW PRESS)

…Dear John letter, ending with the words, “you are hurting me. i am letting you. i do not want to.” There it is, cut and dry: a breakup. Except it’s not.

“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN

“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN

I think there’s a level of trusting that people will empathize with my story, and if not my story, then the music of my words.

WORKING ANIMALS – LIAM BATES (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)

WORKING ANIMALS – LIAM BATES (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)

After reading this body of work, I discuss its topics and subject matter with a respect that I did not expect to have when starting it.

REVIEW: THE SAMURAI – LINDA M. CRATE (YELLOW ARROW PUBLISHING)

REVIEW: THE SAMURAI – LINDA M. CRATE (YELLOW ARROW PUBLISHING)

Or perhaps she felt this unfamiliarity with her body all along and only made sense of the reason why after her discovery of the reincarnation. – Robin D. Hendricks

REVIEW: I’LL FLY AWAY – RUDY FRANCISCO (BUTTON POETRY)

REVIEW: I’LL FLY AWAY – RUDY FRANCISCO (BUTTON POETRY)

What Rudy Francisco has done in I’ll Fly Away (Button Poetry) is to build a language where one did not exist. Place letters in front of letters to create new emotions, new meanings. It’s guterall. These are new words needed in these new times to help somehow coalesce these ancient feelings.

REVIEW: SENTIMENTAL VIOLENCE — GABRIELLE HOGAN (GHOST CITY PRESS)

REVIEW: SENTIMENTAL VIOLENCE — GABRIELLE HOGAN (GHOST CITY PRESS)

As we all know, though, joy does not exist without violence — not for Tonya, and not for any of us.

YELLOW JOURNALISM: THANK YOU FOR THE CONTENT – REGGIE JOHNSON (RAD PRESS BOOKS)

YELLOW JOURNALISM: THANK YOU FOR THE CONTENT – REGGIE JOHNSON (RAD PRESS BOOKS)

One of my favorite wordplay moments, in this collection, can be seen in the confidence exuded in lines like “Reciprocation at its simplicity, You was the one taking shots, And now you stay missing me” (I Love Me).

REVIEW: GHOST FACE – GREG SANTOS (DC BOOKS)

REVIEW: GHOST FACE – GREG SANTOS (DC BOOKS)
But if who we are is a combination of our past and present, environmental and biological, how can we really know ourselves if we don’t look?

REVIEW: IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE — SHAUN ROBINSON (BRICK BOOKS)

REVIEW: IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE — SHAUN ROBINSON (BRICK BOOKS)

You start in one place—a forest on fire, a restaurant where you’re stacking individual creamers into a tower, falling in love wearing colorful pants—and by the end, you realize you’ve run into yourself.

REVIEW: MOTH FUNERALS – GAIA RAJAN (GLASS POETRY PRESS)

REVIEW: MOTH FUNERALS – GAIA RAJAN (GLASS POETRY PRESS)

It’s innocence in a sense because while we all have to grow up, but it’s still okay and sad and happy and other adjectives. But to be Blackbird, or a lonely doll in a fancy dollhouse, or be “ball-gowned, butcher knifed” would be a story to be told.

YELLOW JOURNALISM: QUIET, GRIT & GLORY – RICKY RAY (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)

YELLOW JOURNALISM: QUIET, GRIT & GLORY – RICKY RAY (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)

Many of the pieces in this book challenged me, while some baffled me, others stirred tears I frequently wipe while composing this review.

REVIEW: LATE SUMMER FLOWERS – JULIAN DAY (ANSTRUTHER PRESS)

REVIEW: LATE SUMMER FLOWERS – JULIAN DAY (ANSTRUTHER PRESS)

Yes, it really is just a ravine, but Day shares the significance of the place, the things that happened there. Place of sport and suicide. Place of celebration.

REVIEW: FOEVERHAUS – KAILEY TEDESCO (WHITE STAG PUBLISHING)

REVIEW: FOEVERHAUS – KAILEY TEDESCO (WHITE STAG PUBLISHING) – review by Kristin Garth

There is a candy-coated communion of saints inside these poems that encapsulates the terror of treats of childhood.  A “peppermint Jesus” and “cinnamon virgin” cohabitate in these pages with the Bloody Mary.

REVIEW: IR /RATIONAL – KALEB TUTT (ROARING JUNIOR PRESS)

REVIEW: IR /RATIONAL – KALEB TUTT (ROARING JUNIOR PRESS)

If you have ever wondered if “that” one in a million situation could happen, Tutt has opened the floor for its discussion. – Bradley Galimore

REVIEW: WOUND FROM THE MOUTH OF A WOUND – TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

REVIEW: WOUND FROM THE MOUTH OF A WOUND – TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

it is of value, why try to fix the other parts, “…make them/more normal”? Would it be better to embrace the body in its natural state? – Martha Warren

REVIEW: IMPERMANENCE – COLIN BANCROFT (MAYTREE PRESS)

REVIEW: IMPERMANENCE – COLIN BANCROFT (MAYTREE PRESS)

When relationships end, or flowers wither, or family passes away, we hold onto whatever we feel will give us some type of permanence, but in the end, no matter how hard we try, everything dies. Everything ends. But if we accept the beauty of the process, we can carry each moment with us until we ourselves are no more.

REVIEW: WAYS WE VANISH – TODD DILLARD (OKAY DONKEY PRESS)

REVIEW: WAYS WE VANISH – TODD DILLARD (OKAY DONKEY PRESS)

We are the hopes and dreams of those who would not live to see us get there – because death, and not for any other reason; however, those times where new life beckons as old life waves goodbye can bring light enough to brighten the sky to an otherwise desolate moment.

REVIEW: ELECTRIC SARCASM – DIMITRA IOANNOU (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)

REVIEW: ELECTRIC SARCASM – DIMITRA IOANNOU (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)

Electric Sarcasm is an elegy faithful to the Greek root of the word; a lament for Greece, a country so important for its ancient ruins, facing financial ruin.

REVIEW: NEW DISEASE STREETS – DAVID O’NAN (SELF-PUBLISHED)

REVIEW: NEW DISEASE STREETS – DAVID O’NAN (SELF-PUBLISHED)

New Disease Streets isn’t going to calm your senses or negate your fears about the current state of the world, but it will remind you that even when all the stars are punched from the sky, there will continue to be a guiding light – even if it’s only peeking through holes in your quilt.

REVIEW: WOUND FROM THE MOUTH OF A WOUND – TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

REVIEW: WOUND FROM THE MOUTH OF A WOUND – TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

Her poems don’t just show the reader these issues, they pull the reader into them, making them wear them like a skin.

REVIEW: SPECTRUM OF FLIGHT – DAVID HANLON (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

REVIEW: SPECTRUM OF FLIGHT – DAVID HANLON (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

Utilizing the layout of text on the page, suggestive titles and clever wordplay, he creates an intricate narrative that enhances the reading experience.

REVIEW: RUSTED BELLS AND DAISY BASKETS – ANDREA PANZECA (FINISHING LINE PRESS)

REVIEW: RUSTED BELLS AND DAISY BASKETS – ANDREA PANZECA (FINISHING LINE PRESS)

… she shows the grittiness of her fighter self in her dreams, while simultaneously rejecting the idea of men as saviors.

REVIEW: AT FIRST & THEN – DANIELLE ROSE (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)

REVIEW: AT FIRST & THEN – DANIELLE ROSE (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)

if Rose decided to give a craft talk on titles alone, I would slam my fist, fanning with twenties, on the table and scream, “Here, take my money!” – Lannie Stabile

REVIEW: LIFE IN SPACE – GALINA RYMBU ( TR. JOAN BROOKS) (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE/AFTER HOURS EDITIONS)

REVIEW: LIFE IN SPACE – GALINA RYMBU ( TR. JOAN BROOKS) (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE/AFTER HOURS EDITIONS)

Sex is set against a backdrop of war and politics, so devoid of emotion and joy you can “count the bites and hickeys from dead lovers.” 

REVIEW: THE TALES OF FLAXIE CHAR – ELIZABETH HORNER TURNER (DANCING GIRL PRESS)

REVIEW: THE TALES OF FLAXIE CHAR – ELIZABETH HORNER TURNER (DANCING GIRL PRESS)

“…explores the line between the fantastical and insanity in a woman pushed to the brink by tragedy…”

REVIEW: THE TALE OF TURKISH CARPET – JACQUELINE SAPHRA (BAD BETTY PRESS)

REVIEW: THE TALE OF TURKISH CARPET – JACQUELINE SAPHRA (BAD BETTY PRESS)

The poem is a great tale of how we ‘interpret’ other people’s lives when we go to other’s cultures and yet might forget the constraints on our own, thinking them normal. Until – it all gets too much. 

WOMEN WRITERS OVER 30: REVIEW: LARARIUM – RAY BALL (VARIANT LIT)

WOMEN WRITERS OVER 30: REVIEW: LARARIUM – RAY BALL (VARIANT LIT)

She says “snakes always my company” and just like Medusa she apparently has the power to elicit stoicism in her father. In this way, she is taking some of the power back from her father in their difficult relationship. However, also just like Medusa she is mortal, as seen in the line “cannot shed their skins.” 

REVIEW: BODEGA NIGHT PIGEON RIOT – AMANDA DEUTCH (ABOVE/GROUND PRESS)

REVIEW: BODEGA NIGHT PIGEON RIOT – AMANDA DEUTCH (ABOVE/GROUND PRESS)​

Like riding in the car, riding the subway is a moment where many people wrestle with their thoughts. Sometimes these thoughts are a diagnosis of the self, other times they are external, a commentary on the troubles of the world around us.

REVIEW: TO FALL FABLE – ALICE WICKENDEN (VARIANT LIT)

REVIEW: TO FALL FABLE – ALICE WICKENDEN (VARIANT LIT)
It’s all the obstacles in the way of self-discovery. It’s the fantasy of the moment. It’s the newness of everything. It’s doing something that might change your life, and should. Just not sure how.

REVIEW: F LETTER – GALINA RYMBU, EUGENE OSTASHEVSKY, AINSLEY MORSE, EDS. (Isolarii)

REVIEW: F LETTER – GALINA RYMBU, EUGENE OSTASHEVSKY, AINSLEY MORSE, EDS. (Isolarii)

Am I a poet or a poetess? Do I need to embrace a male style of writing, of interest, of canon, or someone else’s definition of radical feminist poetry?

REVIEW: THE CANDLELIGHT MASTER – MICHAEL LONGLEY (WAKE FOREST PRESS)

REVIEW: THE CANDLELIGHT MASTER – MICHAEL LONGLEY (WAKE FOREST PRESS)

“This is a collection about the power of aging. He shows us how the lives of old poets companion us on our journey….” – Jessica Mookherjee

REVIEW: THE CARTOON DIARIES – DAVID O’NAN (SELF-PUBLISHED)

REVIEW: THE CARTOON DIARIES – DAVID O’NAN (SELF-PUBLISHED)
This collection acts as a roadmap through the never ending cacophony – the voices, the fears, the Gods, and the everlasting sense that if you were to slow down for one moment you may never start again.

REVIEW: THE GULL AND THE BELL TOWER – KARI FLICKINGER (FEMME SALVÈ BOOKS/ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

REVIEW: THE GULL AND THE BELL TOWER – KARI FLICKINGER (FEMME SALVÈ BOOKS/ANIMAL HEART PRESS)

We never really escape our own disasters. In fact, “owning them is an irredeemable trait”. It’s unsettling, it’s frightening, but it does turn glass to stone. It does, however, create beauty.

WOMEN WRITERS OVER 30: SARA LUPITA OLIVARES – NATALIE MARINO

WOMEN WRITERS OVER 30: SARA LUPITA OLIVARES – NATALIE MARINO

“…adapting to lives of constant movement and living between space and “unspace” has led to centuries of generational trauma.”

REVIEW: STORAGE UNIT FOR THE SPIRIT HOUSE – MAW SHEIN WIN (OMNIDAWN)

REVIEW: STORAGE UNIT FOR THE SPIRIT HOUSE – MAW SHEIN WIN (OMNIDAWN)

A storage unit is inevitably a reduction of life’s expansive possibilities. It is by nature a place of pause, a place of restrictions on the field of associations.

REVIEW: TRAVELOGUE – PAIGE MELIN (GHOST CITY PRESS)

REVIEW: TRAVELOGUE – PAIGE MELIN (GHOST CITY PRESS)
“….she recognizes that she no longer has complete agency, having surrendered to her travels: “nothing will pull me / from this trajectory”, she writes, “not even its own / destruction”.

REVIEW: SEEDLING – ALANA SALTZ (MAVERICK DUCK PRESS)

REVIEW: SEEDLING – ALANA SALTZ (MAVERICK DUCK PRESS)

So if our memories are selective, and somewhat inaccurate, how do we keep those we loved with us after they’re gone? 

REVIEW: AMNESIA – HAL Y. ZHANG (NEWFOUND)

REVIEW: AMNESIA – HAL Y. ZHANG (Newfound)

The pressures of assimilation run deep. To what extent do we forget our mother tongues when we immigrate to a new country? How much of ourselves, our culture, our language, can we retain?

REVIEW: LA BELLE AJAR – ERNESTO CEPEDA (CLASH BOOKS)

REVIEW: LA BELLE AJAR – ERNESTO CEPEDA (CLASH BOOKS)

A revitalized love story for an upended generation. Cepeda brings beauty to the parts of us we fear the most: desires, sex, love, guilt, self.

#TPQ5: BOLA C. KING-RUSHING

Ursula K. LeGuin I grew up immersed in sci-fi and fantasy, and I’ve seen all kinds of worlds; LeGuin’s have always been the most imaginative and engaging. Octavia Butler Butler makes *character* the central part of her characters. They are intensely personal, believable, and relatable. Piers Anthony As a youngster

REVIEW: VENUS IN PINK MARBLE – GAYNOR KANE (HEDGEHOG PRESS)

REVIEW: VENUS IN PINK MARBLE – GAYNOR KANE (HEDGEHOG PRESS)

This is a collection that moves around the themes of love, lust, futility and desire and the search for a self through these conflicts of empire and colonialism.

REVIEW: GRAVITY – LYNNE SCHMIDT (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW)

REVIEW: GRAVITY – LYNNE SCHMIDT (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW)

In that moment of vulnerability we are often not our best selves ultimately becoming lost. but sometimes we overcome these bad relationships, saving ourselves in the end.

Review by Chris L. Butler

REVIEW: ALCHEMY OF LOVE – SOPHIE FOUCHER (SELF-PUBLISHED)

REVIEW: ALCHEMY OF LOVE – SOPHIE FOUCHER (SELF-PUBLISHED):

In simple lines of pure feeling these ‘30 poems and dreams about love’ challenge us to leave our troubles behind and enter Foucher’s vision of equanimity. 

Review by Jane Berg

REVIEW: PITH – TRACY FUAD (NEWFOUND)

REVIEW: PITH – TRACY FUAD (NEWFOUND PRESS)

Day-after-day, emails – I get it. And for the rest of the day, I wondered where God fit into all this technologyand war of scorched earth?

Review by Martha Warren

REVIEW: NO SAINTS – KEANA AGUILA LABRA (LAZY ADVENTURER PUBLISHING)

REVIEW: NO SAINTS – KEANA AGUILA LABRA (LAZY ADVENTURER PUBLISHING):
Maybe the hard, unyielding material is not mankind’s intolerance of what is other, as we have always thought.

Review by Lannie Stabile.

REVIEW: LOST LAGOON/LOST IN THOUGHT – BETSY WARLAND (CAITLIN PRESS)

REVIEW: LOST LAGOON/LOST IN THOUGHT – BETSY WARLAND

Thoughtful and contemplative, the writing captures the seasons of nature, the sounds and rhythms of the lagoon, and I wonder whether especially now, in times of uncertainty and fear, more of us should make time to be quiet

Review by Martha Warren

REVIEW: LET’S PHOTOGRAPH GIRLS ENJOYING LIFE – JASMINE GRAY (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)

REVIEW: LET’S PHOTOGRAPH GIRLS ENJOYING LIFE – JASMINE GRAY (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)​

This small poetry collection hits hard, it makes us voyeur and complicit in the diminishment of what gender and sex are.

Rev by @jessmkrjy