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…

This Week, I Read Allyson Paty: Five O’ Clock on the Shore

Image Credit: Jiyeon Park via Unsplash This week, I read Allyson Paty’s chapbook, Five O’Clock on the Shore, a — collection of poems which explore temporal — and causality. I found this book to be really intriguing. It has the feel of a confessional. In her long poem, entitled “Millennial,” the speaker says, “Anything I…

This Week, I Read Jonathan Bell: Hello

Image Credit: Jon Tyson “In my head it always sounds better,” the speaker in Jonathan Bell’s self-published debut collection of poems, Hello, says. “Here, on mere parchment, the dimensions crumple what I see into clichés and paper tigers. I suppose I’m good at origami. It comes out raw and wrapped in red tape.” The pieces…

this week, i read rob mclennan: A halt, which is empty

Image Credit: Noah Näf via Unsplash “Listing, and in consequence. Whip-smart. Porcelain, imprints. Restless,/in what seemed. Eternity. A printed image. Transmitting, sparks,” the speaker in “[entirety, the edge of sky, scrapes]” says in rob mclennan’s collection, A halt, which is empty. Most of the poems in the collection are fragmentary. Literally, they are made up…

This Week, I Read Sascha Akhtar: #LoveLikeBlood

Image Credit: NASA via Unsplash This week, I read Sascha A. Akhtar’s book, #LoveLikeBlood, a colorful collection of hybrid and collage poems. The pieces experiment with form, and some of them are pastiches of words and phrases, cut out and glued together to create an interesting visual effect, lending themselves to the chaos and fragmentary…

This Week, I Read Emilie Sion: Swan Country

Image Credit: Rafal Grzegorz via Unsplash This week, I read Swan Country, by Emilie Sion, a Vancouver-based poet, who wrote during the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. In the preface to the book, it says: “She was fascinated by the connection between the spirit and the real world and much of her poetry could perhaps be…

This Week, I Read Charlene Elsby: Hexis

Image Credit: Chaozzy Lin via Unsplash “I wanted to see him as he used to be, as the memory that still lived in the space, and I wanted to show him that I was better now, so much better. If he only knew me now instead of then he wouldn’t have, and I wouldn’t have…

This Week, I Read Sarah Etlinger: Never One for Promises

Image Credit: Sergey Zolkin, via Unsplash This week, I read Sarah Etlinger’s Never One for Promises. This collection of poems is delightfully sexy and absolutely stunning. Etlinger uses cutting pears or the shape of chili peppers as metaphors to discuss relationships in a way that is both original and insightful. In another piece, she describes…