This Week, I Read Preston Smith: Red Rover, Red Lover

Image Credit: Duncan Kidd via Unsplash “You & I—precarious pronouns/that I will never tire of using,” the speaker says in Preston Smith’s chapbook, Red Rover, Red Lover. This book is packed with dreamy, enchanting love poems with the perfect dash of mythology. In the poem, “A God of Oracles and Light,” the speaker says: “I…

This Week, I Read Jason Crawford: Summertime Fine

Image Credit: Brooke Lark via Unsplash “I learned how to say my father’s name from his mother,” the speaker says in Jason Crawford’s new chapbook of poetry, Summertime Fine. “She held the R in the pit of her jaw like a neck bone BeRnard and if that don’t speak love into the frying pan, then…

This Week, I Read Erik Fuhrer: not human enough for the census

Image Credit: Paul Biñas via Unsplash “some bodies have always been haunted/their houses built on toxic remains/their bodies breathing in/the dust of industry’s buried bones,” the speaker says in Erik Fuhrer’s collection of apocalyptic ecopoetry, not human enough for the census. The poetry in this collection involves stunning wordplay and the absurd that is stylistically…

This Week, I Read Christina Thatcher: How to Carry Fire

Image Credit: Lís Clíodhna via Unsplash “Conjure every fire you have ever read about—/London’s gutting, Brisbane’s breadless/factory, Boston’s burning,” the speaker says in Christina Thatcher’s collection of poems, How to Carry Fire. The collection has several threads that run through it–Thatcher’s family history, poverty, addiction, and how to move on, how to heal from past…

This Week, I Read Paul Brookes: Stubborn Sod

Image Credit: Lís Clíodhna via Unsplash “Enter her grove barefoot,/no leather here,/no blood sacrifices/done.//Offer her honeyed milk,/not wine,” the speaker says in Paul Brookes’s collection of poems, Stubborn Sod. Stubborn Sod is the second installment in a trilogy of collections which surround Pagan cycle of year. Stubborn Sod begins in January, with the Pagan Sabbat…

This Week, I Read Annah Browning: Witch Doctrine

Image credit: Freestocks via Unsplash “I like to roost/in the minds of others,//like a blackbird/in the rafters of//a church,” the speaker says in Annah Browning’s collection of poems, Witch Doctrine says. “…I peer/into their ears and nuzzle//the small bones/of their sadness.” I love the world that these poems inhabit. It’s somewhere in the liminal space…

This Week, I Read Isabel Sobral Campos: Autobiographical Ecology

Image Credit: Debby Hudson via Unsplash “Notebook/is language peel, summary of misunderstanding in the wastebasket where/crumpled pages sleep,” the speaker says in Isabel Sobral Campos’s chapbook of poems, Autobiographical Ecology. The book has the feel of reading a diary. It’s equal parts confessional and listing of observations, which evoke the chaos of life in the…

This Week, I Read: These Poems Are Not What They Seem

Image Credit: Jay Heike via Unsplash “i wanted to be laura palmer,/ even when i saw her wrapped in plastic,/with blue lips and dead eyes./i wasn’t supposed to want that,/but i did,” the speaker says in Juliette van der Molen’s poem, “I Wanted to be Laura Palmer.” Thirty years ago, when Twin Peaks first aired,…

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….