Category: BOOK REVIEWS

REVIEW: ALL THE BLOOD INVOLVED IN LOVE (HAYMAKET BOOKS)

Maya Marshall’s debut interrogates the current sociopolitical nature and its threat to reproductive rights, choice, and Blackness. – Caitie L. Young

REVIEW: ALL THE FLOWERS KNEELING – PAUL TRAN (PENGUIN POETS)

Paul Tran’s long-awaited debut collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, is a fierce reminder that Tran is one of the most talented and visceral poets writing in America today. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: THE MASK – ELISABETH HORAN (THE BROKEN SPINE)

This shows Kahlo’s defiance as both lasting and as the catalyst for her own breaking point. Even when exploring Kahlo’s death, Horan stays true to the voice she has established for Kahlo. – Elisabeth Horan

REVIEW: DEAR GOD. DEAR BONES. DEAR YELLOW. – NOOR HINDI (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is the divine feminine’s wrath with no apologies, and yes, you should say thank you. – Lyra Thomas

REVIEW: REVENGE BODY – RACHEL WILEY (BUTTON POETRY)

These poems rip at the meat, bone, and marrow of aspects of the institution that has settled in the hearts and minds of our societal zeitgeist. – Melissa Ferrer

REVIEW: THE TREES WITNESS EVERYTHING – VICTORIA CHANG (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Each section speaks to a specific season, emphasizing the passage of time and its effect on our understanding of the world around us. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: PS – PENN KEMP & SHARON THESEN (GAP RIOT PRESS)

Perhaps we have all, as in the poem, lost someone and looked up, perceived heaven, and asked for a sign, a response, but were left only in our wonder. – Cait L. Young

REVIEW: THE HURTING KIND – ADA LIMÓN (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: WHAT IS OTHERWISE INFINITE – BIANCA STONE (TIN HOUSE PRESS)

These are poems that do not lend themselves to passive reading, but rather demand deep internal reflection and renewed engagement with the most basic, unanswerable questions of human existence. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: A PRAYER FOR A NON-RELIGIOUS AUTISTIC – LUCAS SCHEELK (MASON JAR PRESS)

Scheelk offers first-hand accounts of the effects of misdiagnosis, queer identity, and the intersections of these as an autistic person. – Caitie L. Young

REVIEW: THE BODY MYTH – HANNAH LAND (THE HUNGER JOURNAL)

The Body Myth (The Hunger Journal) by Hannah Land is beauty in words, harmonic sounds and striking imagery, all to narrate an all too familiar painful story. – Valentina Lindardi

REVIEW: SHUTTER – TAYLOR BYAS (MADHOUSE PRESS)

Shutter is equally successful for its accessibility and relatability, centering poems that are at once concretely grounded in personal experience and immediately familiar to any reader who experiences self-doubt, heartbreak, and loneliness. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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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: AGAINST HEAVEN – KEMI ALABI (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“Against Heaven is an ode to blackness with a question mark to Black Christianity. It is a tribute to queerness and transness. It is a love letter to polyamory, and the lovers had and yet to have….” Lyra Thomas

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: DROWNING IN LIGHT – TAYLOR STEELE (PLATYPUS PRESS)

In this speaker’s world, loneliness becomes a proper noun. A thing of beauty. A thing that will grow into its own season. – Amanda Rabaduex

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: YEAR OF THE UNICORN KIDZ – JASON B. CRAWFORD (SUNDRESS PUBLICATION)

These are painful in a glorious way – a healing kind of hurt. This collection offers a safe space for queerness and self and love. – Courtney Margolin

REVIEW: DREAM OF THE LAKE – CAROLINE M. MAR (BULL CITY PRESS)

Mar brings us to a past world, painted as vividly as ours, made of pretty words and tragic events that leave us feeling wet and sticky, as if the algae of the lake refuse to let us free from it. – Valentina Linardi

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: CUSTOMS – SOLMAZ SHARIF (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

[This collection takes a] hard look at the challenges of existing in exile, of growing accustomed to the comforts of America, and of conflicting feelings around claiming a home to which the speaker cannot return. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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: BLOODFRESH BY EBONY STEWART (BUTTON POETRY)

Stewart is at her best, masterfully blending her understanding of craft with her keen ear for orality to offer a collection readers will be talking about for years. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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: RETURN FLIGHT – JENNIFER HUANG (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

“We love our families as hard as we can. We push forward. We learn languages that don’t lead us to shame because sometimes we “live in a perpetual state of I don’t know”. – Chris Margolin

MUSES Vol. 3: STETSON BENNETT AND THE YEAR OF THE QUARTERBACK

“I was once told by an editor that I “don’t write real poetry”. How is this any different from people saying that Bennett had a mediocre arm”? – Chris L. Butler

REVIEW: GROWN OCEAN – MATT MITCHELL (WORD WEST)

“Grown Ocean is a collection about love as much as it is a collection of disenchantment with the world”. – Chris L. Butler

REVIEW: BELOW TORRENTIAL HILL – JONATHAN KOVEN (ELECTRIC ECLECTIC)

“[The reader is left to] examine whether or not there really is a “better” existence; or if we are all destined to simply live the life we’ve been given, and nothing more”. – Chris Margolin

REVIEW: SUCH COLOR BY TRACY K. SMITH (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“[There is a] willingness to engage space as a living entity, something that is at once incomprehensible and animate”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: SCENES FROM A GOD MOVIE – DAVID ROSS LINKLATER (SPECULATIVE BOOKS)

And we are most definitely not here to survive and die, but rather to survive within the noise, and then die. – Chris Margolin

REVIEW: FOCAL POINT – JENNY QI (STEEL TOE BOOKS)

“With life, there is loss. Yet it all feels wrong. One of the most jarring things about grief is not that the world moves on: it is that the world moves on so quickly and seamlessly”. – Whitney Hansen

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

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

REVIEW: HOW TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH A WOUND – KB (KALLISTO GAIA PRESS)

KB recognizes the wound as equally capable of memorializing beautiful, if painful, memories. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: SUPERDOOM – MELISSA BRODER (TIN HOUSE PRESS)

“Together, the poems function a bit like a greatest hits album, showcasing the breadth of style and distinct humor for which Broder is known”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: SACRILEGIOUS – CHRIS L. BUTLER (FAHMIDAN)

“Because religion can be found inside a Walkman. Inside a radio song. A news segment. Because inside these personal stories and erasures of 2Pac lines, we find a refreshed and re-defined sense of The Word”. – Chris Margolin

REVIEW: STOKED & THRASHING – CLEM FLOWERS (ALIEN BUDDHA PRESS)

“Stoked and Thrashing is a masterclass of sensory engagement in writing”. – Whitney Hansen

REVIEW: PECULIAR HERITAGE – DeMISTY BELLINGER (MASON JAR PRESS)

“By revisiting historical moments and paying respects to figures that came before her, the author shines light on the issues we still are dealing with today”. – Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: YELLOW RAIN – MAI DER VANG (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“Mai Der Vang masters contemporary poetic structures, grounds her verse in vivid and haunting imagery, and carries a central narrative throughout the collection”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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: LITTLE ROOMS WITH BAD LIGHTING – MAGI SUMPTER (GHOST CITY PRESS)

“Each poem acts as a space that was once inhabited with the speaker or those they hold dear. Each poem holds a period of time”. – Whitney Hansen

REVIEW: ALL THE NAMES GIVEN – RAYMOND ANTROBUS (TIN HOUSE)

“Antrobus includes several poems that recall experiences with incarcerated people, and alludes to his own arrest. These poems speak to the terrible relationship between disability and incarceration by humanizing their subjects.” – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: a more perfect Union – TERI ELLEN CROSS DAVIS (OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS)

“Davis invites the readers to join and spark change in the infrastructure of the country to bring about a revolution”. – Reggie Johnson

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

TPQ20 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

TPQ20: EPISODE 6 – TODD DILLARD

Chris sits down with Todd Dillard, author of Ways We Vanish (Okay Donkey), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry.

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 Logo in TPQ Green with a Microphone in the middle

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

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. –

#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.