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.
out of emptied cups is a gorgeous rich collection. Despite how dark it sometimes gets as it explores the injustices of humans towards one another; men towards women; leaders towards their constituents; people towards nature and the earth; the strong against the weak, the work always leans into a shared wonder of the deep complexity of life.
Patterns help people connect with one another because of the universal and fundamental fact that everything is interconnected because of the diversity that defines the world and its inhabitants. Carol Smallwood’s newest poetry collection, Patterns: Moments in Time, explores the sublime nature of reality that reveals how life can be truly extraordinary.
If you are looking for a farrago of old-school romanticism, Neoplatonism, Whitmanian excess, and Hindu plenitude, you have come to the right place. There just aren’t enough descriptors in the lexicon to do justice to Bhupender Bhardwaj’s Ebullience & Other Poems.
Horses also showcases Blaskey’s eye and ear for nature poetry. The collection bounces back and forth across the country to the Ozarks to the midwest to the Delaware coast. But Blaskey is most at home in rural settings where “a combine sits idle in a half-harvested soybean field” or where “ grasshoppers stirred up from weeds leap onto your legs and arms.”
The poems are dense, lusty in the old sense of the word—in their intentness on the uniqueness of each contemplated experience. McCarthy’s metaphors are fresh and lovely; line-by-line, the writing is often astonishingly beautiful.
Eliana Gray’s latest poetry collection, Eager to Break, is assured, quiet, charming, and intense all at the same time. The work engages directly and openly with inherently distressing themes like sexual violence, mental illness, fear, PTSD and its many manifestations and loss, but always, and perhaps uniquely, with a muted joy – as if the opportunity to play with words this way, against such pain, were a gift.
Belief is an elaborate mosaic where the tiles are words; paradoxes, satire and the vernacular adorn the pages of this beautifully crafted book. Belief is divided into seven sections, each section opens a door to two worlds: one the writer’s imagination and psyche and the other opens to the external world.
There is an exuberance here; a delight in the word, in the construction of the self, the abnegation of the self, and in the sheer pain and joy of living, losing, and loving, that comes through each of the poems.
Sandra Yannone’s brave poems contribute to popular history of the time, flooding us with the arc, the ache, of family and lesbian relationships in her first full-length collection. Some poems live in heartbreak, some, in ecstatic joy. They are worthy of many rereads.