Category: Mike Walker

Book Review: The Water Books by Judith Vollmer

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

The Water Books: Poems Judith Vollmer Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press 2012 Sometimes it’s hard to know how to introduce a poet, or even a review of her book. Where do you start? The first poem in the volume, the biography of the poet who wrote it? Most of the time, I would consider the book …

Book Review: The Beds by Martha Rhodes

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Prose

The Beds by Martha Rhodes Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press, 2012 ISBN-13: 9781932870534 This slim volume by poet Martha Rhodes gained my interest for several reasons but none as immediate as the titles of the poems it contains, titles like “Who’s Ill Now?” and “The Pleasures and Inconveniences of Being Detested”. Sure, many a contemporary poet …

The Orchards of Syon a Decade Later

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

Geoffrey Hill is one of those names in contemporary English-language poetry that passes our lips without thinking when we consider our current poetry that has ample roots in historical forms and scholarship. He is one of those rare poets today who, whether we like him or not, read him or not, is carrying forth not …

Book Review: The Hands of Strangers

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home Janice N. Harrington Rochester: BOA Editions, 2011 ISBN: 9781934414545 Janice Harrington, an accomplished poet and author of children’s books, takes on a difficult, deep, yet rewarding topic in this collection of poems regarding life in a nursing home. It would be all too easy to approach …

Your Father on the Train of Ghosts by C. Waldrep and John Gallaher

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

Your Father on the Train of Ghosts C. Waldrep and John Gallaher Rochester, NY: BOA Editions Ltd. 2011 ISBN: 9781934414484 G.C. Waldrep is one of my favorite contemporary poets and his 2008 book Disclamor is to me a masterwork in short form of geographical and political observation alike. Taking grand inspiration from his personal experiences …

Julia Kristeva’s Abjection: a Lecture on the Powers of Horror

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

Every year around Halloween—near the first of October, really, as I like to have a whole month for this—I tend to re-read old ghost stories by the like of M.R. James, folk tales of British corpse ways, and historical non-fiction about vampires from the Balkans. Halloween makes for a grand excuse for becoming immersed in …

Book Review: Transfer by Naomi Shihab Nye

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Prose

Transfer: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye Rochester, NY: BOA Editions September, 2011 ISBN: 978-1934414644 The argument is often made that poetry holds great social value beyond its aesthetic merits, that it can teach useful lessons and communicate in difficult emotional regions where plain prose would be lost or even give over to a physical fight. …

Book review: When She Named Fire

By | Book Review, Mike Walker, Poetics, Prose

An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women edited by Andrea Hollander Budy Autumn House Press Pittsburgh, 2008 ISBN: 978-1932870268 Most of us who enjoy poetry—who enjoy reading—know about collections and thematic anthologies mainly from our seminars and other literature courses: most classes that are topical will include an anthology as a text, be it …