Blog Archives

Decorating the House: An Allegory of Revision

By | Blog Archives

stanza, late 16th century: from Italian meaning station, stopping-place, or room.          Four years ago, I bought a house, a small, three-bedroom ranch in Frostburg, Maryland. I liked its midcentury modern touches (archways, a telephone nook) and its humble size on a good plot of land. I was moving from a two-bedroom apartment and would have …

Book Review: THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS by J. Jennifer Espinoza

By | Book Review, Prose

There Should be Flowers by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016 $15.95 Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s There Should Be Flowers is an unyielding call for compassion in a world that continuously tries to suppress the voices of marginalized groups. The collection outlines her journey from a young boy whose silence is protection to a woman …

Variations on a Theme of Birdsong

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Prose

One of the hardest things to think about in terms of revision beyond the first draft is seeing what’s possible outside the margins of what’s already written, which is to say not how to make the poem longer, tighter, musically  more compelling, but, rather, to explore the alternative poems running parallel to the original. What …

Book Review: OBJECTS OF AFFECTION by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

By | Book Review, Prose

Objects of Affection  by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough Braddock Avenue Books, 2018 $13.00 Polish-born Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough has made a life out of translating, that fraught, “imperfect art which depends on what Czesław Miłosz called ‘the conscious acceptance of imperfect solutions.’” It’s the leveling of two languages and two cultures on ground foreign to each, at minimum a …

Book Review: PERSONAL SCIENCE by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

By | Book Review, Prose

Personal Science  by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram Tupelo Press, 2017 $16.95 Lillian-Yvonne Bertram writes under the premise that all of her writing is essentially a continuation of the same work. As she puts it in an interview with The Rumpus, her work is: “a single life project,” the books are “artifacts that mark points in time. They …

Quantum Poetics

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Prose

Atomic Structures If a word is an atom and a line is molecule, then the poem is a compound. Change any item in any given line and you alter, in some way, the molecule/compound. Even if the alteration is minor, such as replacing that article a with the, we change the compound slightly just as …

Book Review: AT THE WATERLINE by Brian K. Friesen

By | Book Review, Prose

At the Waterline by Brian K. Friesen Ooligan Press, 2017 $16.95 Inspired by his firsthand experiences while working on the Columbia River, Brian K. Friesen’s debut novel, At the Waterline, is a reflective, multi-faceted story. The book follows Chad, a man with a penchant for the water, through his mission to find himself after his tragic …

The Mouth of the Poem

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Prose

Often, we’ll talk about the ear of a poem—its aurality, how the poem sounds. We talk about alliteration and rhyme and the elusive “flow” of the poem and figure out that poems are about how they sound in our ear as listeners. And why not? We go to poetry readings, sit in the audience, pay …