Category: Poetics

The phony cry for poetry that speaks to our time

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose

Give us poems that speak to today’s issues. How often have you heard editors and critics dine out on that rhetoric? That false rhetoric exposes a fundamental flaw in their understanding of poetry. Poetry, like all art, is the news of the day. It is the cutting edge of our sensibility, whether it talks about Ted Cruz’s latest loony tune or the horrors …

Book Review: THE GLAD HAND OF GOD POINTS BACKWARDS by Rachel Mennies Goodmanson

By | Book Review, Dakota Garilli, Poetics, Prose

The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards Poems by Rachel Mennies Goodmanson Texas Tech University Press, 2014 $17.95 Faith is a lineage: cultural, familial, political, a heritage in some ways inescapable. This is by no means a new idea, but that doesn’t stop Rachel Mennies Goodmanson from exploring it in active, surprising ways in her …

Grains of Dust

By | Blog Archives, Poetics, Prose

“My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk.” – Keats to Shelley * For me writing is the closest thing I have to religious experience. Whether it’s because, through the act, I open a trapdoor into some Jungian subconscious, or it speaks to the transcendental nature of words themselves, or it’s something else …

Book Review: Interrobang by Jessica Piazza

By | Book Review, Dakota Garilli, Poetics, Prose

Interrobang Poems by Jessica Piazza Red Hen Press $17.95 Jessica Piazza’s debut collection, Interrobang, begins with fear—specifically melophobia, the fear of music. But from the poem’s first few lines, it’s clear that this fear isn’t of just any music: They’ll tell you there are only two ways: flawed windpipes that knock like water mains behind …

Book Review: Riceland by C.L. Bledsoe

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose

Riceland Poems by C.L. Bledsoe Unbound Content, 2013 $15.00 Immersive travel writer Joseph Hone wrote a million words, but I only remember a handful: ninety percent of love is tact, and ninety percent of writing is tactless. Put another way: reviewing a book I love is one thing; reviewing a book I love written by …

The Modernists of Al Andalus

By | Poetics, Prose

One of the consequences of adult caretakers trespassing you in boarding school is that you’re unlikely to trust the way anyone wants to teach you. So, when I discovered R.P. Blackmur all by myself in a bookstore, it felt like an act of rebellion. Fortunately I had happened on The Double Agent, his 1935 book …

Book Review: Discontinued Township Road
by Abby Chew

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose

Discontinued Township Roads Poems by Abby Chew Word Poetry, 2013 $18.00 “The Earth doesn’t bleed the way we do. / It’s a different skin. I like knowing — blood flows all ways,” writes Abby Chew in Discontinued Township Roads. Chew’s speaker walks down awestruck, brutal, and unforgiving roads, a country human in its sufferings, but …

Book Review: Little Heretic by Gerry LaFemina

By | Book Review, Dakota Garilli, Poetics, Prose

Little Heretic Poems by Gerry LaFemina Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2014 $18.00   Oh how desire can make us feel/ like gods and beasts both… —“Papyrus” I think it’s generally true that good poetry is born of obsession: an unavoidable exploration of those subjects, people, and memories that we writers can’t turn away …