Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Victoria Moore's "Like Drowning"


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Like Drowning walks the line between things said and not said. Moore’s language is sensual and honest, bittersweet, and as good as ‘sorghum on biscuits.’ Moore is an exciting new voice in poetry.”
J. Bruce Fuller, Wallace Stegner Fellow and Author of The Dissenter's Ground


“Subtle, earnest, moving, and profound, Like Drowning is the portrait of a relationship that has already ended. The book reads like one poem, one finely sustained moment of reflection, so once I started, I could not put it down.”
Blas Falconer, author of The Foundling Wheel

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Melissa Fite Johnson's "A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky"



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"A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky is shot through with loss, with the ways our bodies fail us, and with what we can’t—or don’t say. The speakers are daughters, wives, not-mothers, and they occupy domestic spaces in which “nothing is missing.” Indeed, everything is present in Melissa Fite Johnson’s elegiac collection, even the empty spaces: a remembered father, the children not to be born, the past that is at once long-gone and not gone at all."

—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

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“Melissa Fite Johnson’s A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky is like a poetry photo album where poems appear like perfect snapshots of a life being lived. Johnson’s poems question “what it means to be human”—what we hold onto and what we let go. The narrative beauty of these poems lead us into a garden where  branches “quilt patterns into the sky”—the possibility of becoming a parent and the experience of losing one. This chapbook grounds us in the past and present and connects the two worlds—leaving me thankful for this poet who opens the door for us to walk into her poems and join her.

—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jessica Kim's "These, Our Bodies"


"—like a god of small creatures, like

a god of locked spaces, like a something
i used to know, and yet,

you are so new. say yes, say please,
say i’m still here, say it again."


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

John Miller's "Heat Lightning"



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"At the crux of John Miller’s poetry is a search for heat as a way “to know the origin of desire.” This yearning is rooted in the physical world and complicated by empathy for even the most unpleasant places (the site of a bridge demolition) and most unlikable fellow-travelers (late-night partiers singing karaoke). This is the voice of a poet searching for what he knows he won't find, who “lean[s] into the stinging rain / straining to glimpse / what would teach us to die.” These are beautiful, beautiful poems."

Lauren Goodwin Slaughter, author of a lesson in smallness, recipient of the 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, Editor-in-Chief at PoemMemoirStory.

"John Miller's debut collection is deft, adroit--downright beautiful. The wise old cormorant Coleridge teaches that poetic genius unleashes via the balance or reconciliation of opposition. Around every corner in these elegantly crafted poems, Miller's balance beam brain beckons, reconciles, gets shook, stays lit up. Tenacity; desire and hope in equipoise; deific baritone! From haunting to jaunty to moving, what's clever rams into what's wise again and again. These days so many poems dance us and demand that we are impressed with their sway. Miller's debut steps a full fathom farther: these are the generous, subtle musics that linger in your ear."

Abraham Smith, author of Ashagalomancy; Only Jesus Could Icefish in Summer; Hank; and Whim Man Mammon.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Anita Olivia Koester's "Arrow Songs"




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Arrow Songs is what becomes of Cupid's arrow once the target has been hit and the flesh is open to receive -- it is the body in the rapture and injury of love. There is music throughout -- repetition, refrains, alliteration, that assonance that keens, the grief that seems to lullaby, the desire so insistent you listen, you follow, you let the beat shape you. In these heartbreakingly beautiful poems "no one is ever lost, only transformed." --Arisa White

Friday, April 7, 2017

Eloisa Amezcua's "Symptoms of Teething"



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Here is a book of poems that is, at every turn, deeply invested in the kinds of love we share—with each other, with ourselves, with our pasts, and with our futures. In one moment, “we fall asleep / and there is no more falling.” In the next, the morning where “we fabricate each / other into being.” I am so grateful to Eloisa Amezcua for all her fabrications, for building us this little museum of love.
Kaveh Akbar, Calling a Wolf a Wolf

Friday, March 17, 2017

Michael Cuglietta: Clams in White Wine




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"An air of fly-by-night, strip mall, paycheck to paycheck impermanence laces the crafty short tales of this Florida writer, in which the one thing you can count on is good fast food -- Szechuan dumplings, Cuban sandwiches with sweet fried plaintain, cream-piled cupcakes white brown and red. Michael Cuglietta's characters at least know how to eat well in this anxious world. What to do with the anger, grief and loss lurking just under their place mats is another -- no, the very same -- story."

--Jaimy Gordon, winner of the National Book Award for Lord of Misrule