This Week, I Read Beth Gordon: Particularly Dangerous Situation

Image Credit: Annie Spratt via Unsplash “I cannot/ help you find your way, I can only send you photographs/of my first meal this year, stuffed portobella/ mushrooms peppered and without blood,” the speaker says in Beth Gordon’s collection of poems, Particularly Dangerous Situation. I love how well the title fits the work in this book….

This Week, I Read Mary Kasimor: disrobing iris

Image Credit: Thomas William via Unsplash “you continued dancing for the pleasure of night’s/invisible black silk/with only your hips you showed the mountains/how to dance/in their moon of rock and dust/here in the night/you grow old like a moonstone,” the speaker says in Mary Kasimor’s book of poems, disrobing iris. The poems in this book…

This Week, I Read Amanda Earl: AFTERMATH or Scenes of a Woman Convalescing

Image Credit: Milada Vigerova “The first blooms of spring make me cry. I thought I/would never experience them again,” the speaker says in Amanda Earl’s chapbook of poems, AFTERMATH, or Scenes of a Woman Convalescing. The poems are excerpted from a longer, multi-part poem that Earl wrote following a bout with pneumonia, full body sepsis…

This Week, I Read Ivan Jenson: Media Child, and Other Poems

Image Credit: Julius Drost via Unsplash “don’t let them fool you/it’s not about the process/and it’s not about the journey/trust me, it’s/about getting there/grabbing what you can,” the speaker says in Ivan Jenson’s collection of poems, Media Child, and Other Poems. The pieces in this collection are at times, brash and irreverent. Jenson uses cliches,…

This Week, I Read: David Hanlon: Spectrum of Flight

Image Credit: Anna Sullivan via Unsplash “I was thrown/into the river/behind that schoolyard/and spent years swimmingagainst the current/At last / I made it upstream—” the speaker says in David Hanlon’s debut collection of poems, Spectrum of Flight. The pieces discuss Hanlon’s experiences being bullied, facing depression, as well as dealing with homophobia and coming to…

This Week, I Read Lannie Stabile: Little Masticated Darlings

Image Credit: Ehud Neuhaus via Unsplash “You don’t say anything// You scour Google and drain its/troughs of news articles, obituaries, and book excerpts//You become obsessed with a spirit you didn’t know// But somehow know intimately, like a small end rib roast,” the speaker in Lannie Stabile’s chapbook of true crime poems, Little Masticated Darlings, says….

This Week, I Read Kristin Garth: Flutter: A Southern Gothic Fever Dream

Image Credit: Biel Morro via Unsplash In Kristin Garth’s book, Flutter: A Southern Gothic Fever Dream, Sylvia Dandridge is a sickly and imaginative heiress. She lives out on Longleaf Estate, where she spends most of her days alone, dreaming up other worlds that fill the isolated grandeur that surrounds her. A bee demon, spectral mermaids,…

This Week, I Read Adedayo Agarau: The Arrival of Rain

Image Credit: Loren Gu via Unsplash This week, I read The Arrival of Rain, a collection of poems by Nigerian poet, Adedayo Agarau. The poems in the book concern love, loss, war, and family. Agarau writes heart wrenching, gorgeous free verse poems. It was difficult to choose just one to discuss. All of the pieces…

This Week, I Read Tomasz W. Wiszniewski: Death is a White Balloon

Image credit: Laura Carrasco Morón via Unsplash “Imagining basic progressions: liquid to gas, art to patron, chair to ottoman, follicle to coat, heaven to mind to boat to heaven. Is going not all where the time goes?” the speaker says in Tomasz W. Wisniewski’s poetry chapbook, Death is a White Balloon. The pieces in the…

This Week, I Read Vanessa Maki: the chosen one

Image credit: Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash “once i took my first breath/i should have been told/’welcome to the hellmouth.’” So begins Vanessa Maki’s chapbook of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-themed poems, the chosen one. Equal parts homage to the show, and confessional poems, the book seamlessly weaves references to the show with Maki’s own experiences and…