Tag: poetry

A review of My Skin its Own Sky by Gillian Swain

My skin its own sky is an intensely honest book, one that doesn’t shirk at going into dark places or sharing what is unbearable.  But always, and throughout this gorgeous collection, in every poem, there is a moment of transformation, where pain becomes beauty. This is the power of the work—by looking and exploring these domestic, broken, and charged moments with the clarity of a poetic gaze, Gillian Swain gives them back to us whole.

A review of Knitting Mangrove Roots by Kerri Shying

Shying’s themes are powerful and topical, exploring violence, drug use and dealing, parenting, ecological destruction, disability, prejudice, and sensual joy.  The mix is natural and compelling, working through a distinctive voice intensely, sometimes painfully honest.

A review of Shrapnel Maps by Philip Metres

An Arab-American who feels strongly about the Palestinian homeland, Metres clearly sees the complexities in the region and reflects them so succinctly and comprehensively in his poems and prose sketches, reflecting the good and bad on both sides.

A review of On Reflection by David Musgrave

On Reflection is a novelty. It is beautiful, delicate and memorable. The collection sweeps along philosophising possibilities, inventing life with breath-taking consciousness. In its own right, it reminds us to remain centred—in a word: read Musgrave.

A review of A Constellation of Kisses edited by Diane Lockward

You don’t have to be a card carrying poetry lover to fall in love with the poems in this book. I’m planning to put the anthology on my coffee table and look forward to the conversations it sparks with guests. (That is when we are allowed to have guests again. I am writing to you from the heart of social distancing.) Some of these poems turned me on. Some of them made me long to be the person being kissed for the attention and tenderness of it. Some of them made me cry.

A review of Dear Terror, Dear Splendor by Melissa Crowe

This intricate mixture of joy and grief, celebration and fear, is expressed over and over again in these poems. In “Damage,” a poem about her young daughter mistaking the words damn it for damage, the poet reflects, hearing her daughter’s mistake when she stubs her toe or startles when a door slams, “damage [is] the right word.

A review of A Kinder Sea by Felicity Plunkett

Though these are personal poems, rooted in love, loss, grief, and rebirth, there is a strong, though subtle underlying politic which takes the form of advocacy. Collective empowerment is an important theme throughout the work, linking back to the title–kindness as a radical act.

A review of Vault by Alice Jones

This collection is a word feast to be read over days, not in one sitting, and these poems by Alice Jones deserve to be savored. Despite frequent medical and historical multisyllabic vocabulary, many of the poems regard common social phenomena. Readers will appreciate each word as they feel the momentum of stylistic and linguistic rhythms within and between sentences.