Put the idea of reading this book of poetry cover to cover to bed. For the reader to have control over direction but not the journey’s destination makes Lindsey Warren’s inventive debut collection, Unfinished Child, read like real life. But moving through the poems also parallels a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
The homely, everyday objects of our lives that we take for granted become iconic signposts, saturated with meaning, as time unspools. “My childhood was a safe, dark pocket. Now, nothing feels like my childhood djd.”
This is work that not only provides a different kind of news — engaging with issues like free speech, democracy, aesthetics and ethics – a continual source of interest for Maiden and one she explores with the full weight of her poetic talent, but also allows the reader to see things from a different, and at times, magic realism perspective.
Capista is a skilled poet. His verses command the satisfying circularity of those first two poems, the variety of free verse lines, lull of assonance and repetition, questioning of a philosopher’s observations, mesmerizing rhymes occasional or throughout a poem, and pages sprinkled with sonnets and villanelles.
There is so much to explore in this wonderful collection: work that stretches the imagination, plays with language, time, and space in order to explore human endeavour, both scientific and artistic – and in many cases the distinction becomes blurred. Strange and Munden have done an exceptional job choosing and structuring poems.
The poems in this collection cover many areas from the personal to the general, from the subjective to the concrete; they linger through very effective image making. Kiely poetry is clever and accessible and her ideas flow in sensory experiences. The writing is confident in range and depth. The poems are rich in veiled feelings, sometimes coloured by banalities and others tainted with pain and nostalgia.
Carol Smallwood is to be praised for her skill, perspective, and philosophy over a wide poetic range. Hers is a unique set of senses, capturing sights, sounds, moments, and observations of the everyday world in such a manner that causes the reader to see what is all around him in a fresh, new way.
Loisa Fenichell’s debut collection, all these urban fields, invites the reader to enter a river of memory, consciousness and association as her poems explore fierce and beautiful tributaries, intricate bodies of language filled with well-turned associative lines of poetry.
It’s as if, by bringing in a multitude of varying voices including some multilingual, we begin to see a common humanity in the recognition that comes with such intense vulnerability, anger, self-reflection, empathy, and perhaps above all, the radical inclusion that is not only evident throughout the poems in this collection, but a powerful underlying theme.
Serious topics such as ecofeminism, history, and ecology might sound dry, but like many magnificent thinkers before her, Mackey is in full possession of a wild and wacky sense of humor that always puts her readers at ease. I’ll also say here that while her mind is magnificent and her interests broad, her work, while stunningly layered, is always accessible.