Blog Archives

Book Review: A BLISTER OF STARS by Jason Irwin

By | Book Review, Prose

A Blister of Stars by Jason Irwin Low Ghost Press, 2016 $8.00   Winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award for Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008) and author of the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014) and Some Days It’s a Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005), Jason Irwin’s most recent collection, A Blister of …

Book Review: THE CANOPY by Patricia Clark

By | Book Review, Prose

The Canopy by Patricia Clark Terrapin Books, 2017 $16.00  I often found myself without breath while reading Patricia Clark’s new collection of poetry, The Canopy. The poems quietly knocked the wind out of me. The collection dwells in loss and the ways death can take things from us, both slowly and all at once. It characterizes the …

The Eternal Return of the Same

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics, Prose

Sometime in the late nineties a writer friend of mine said that if you ever wanted to write a Charles Simic poem all you needed was the moon, an alley, a young child, a woman in a babushka, and perhaps a chicken. I thought of this recently after finishing up a first draft of a …

Book Review: RUST BELT BOY by Paul Hertneky

By | Book Review, Prose

Rust Belt Boy:  Stories of An American Childhood by Paul Hertneky Bauhan Publishing, 2016 $21.95 Paul Hertneky exemplifies Western Pennsylvanian familiarity in his new essay collection, Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood. Hailing from a place known for its bullshitting, a gift explored in the essay, “Humility and Its Opposite,” Hertneky masters the craft …

Book Review: THE LOSS OF ALL LOST THINGS by Amina Gautier

By | Book Review, Prose

The Loss of All Lost Things by Amina Gautier Elixir Press, 2016 $17.00  Not all loss is created equal. As I read Amina Gautier’s third collection of short stories, The Loss of All Lost Things (Elixir Press 2015), I tried to imagine the extent of loss I could endure. The loss of a child or partner …

Book Review: A CONTRIVED WORLD by Jung Young-Moon

By | Prose

A Contrived World by Jung Young Moon Trans. by Jeffrey Karvonen & Mah Eunji Dalkey Archives Press, 2016 $16.00  Constructing A Contrived World, Korean writer and translator Jung Young Moon layers thoughtful vignettes, pulled from his narrator’s vivid imagination, to weave fiction and reality together. Set in the streets of a fictitious San Francisco, the narrator’s world …

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for American Poetry, 2017

By | Blog Archives, Prose

These are resolutions for poetry. For readers. For writers. For what’s possible. For some, they may seem curmudgeonly. So be it. For some, they might seem frivolous. So what? We live in a time when there are more poems being written, being published in journals, published in anthologies and books, and yet, as someone who’s …

Confessions of a Could-be Confessional Poet

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Prose

A recent collection of essays, After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography, raises some issues about confessionalism, autobiography, and the role of the lyric I. Confessionalism, that moniker lodged against Lowell by M.L. Rosenthal that was then owned by an entire school of poetry, has of course led to numerous classroom discussions in which students declared that …