book reviews

Reviews of the best poetry books, collections and anthologies; discover poems and up-and-coming poets across all cultures, genres and themes.

Wake Up, Sleepy Poet
Since I’ve moved to California, I have had the good fortune of meeting Rich, who runs the Cholla Needles literary magazine out in Joshua Tree. He was one of the first people I met here. Kind with twin...
Color Commentary on the Game of Life
Baseball has long been admonished for being too slow, too boring form of entertainment. Alan Harris proves those critiques to be wrong. He uses this sport has a vehicle to talk about life, death and t...
Kaleidoscope of Poetry
Robert A. Cozzi’s Kaleidoscope of Colors may shock readers when they feel its heft in their hands. It is quite a large assortment of poetry. Published by Beach Umbrella Publishing in 2019, Kaleidoscop...
Sweet, Fledgling Poetry
Growth, acceptance, vulnerability, and confusion are the plumage of this feathered little collection. As the readers flip open the yellow cover and make their way through the pages of Sweet Awakening,...
The Universe On a String
The Luminary wastes no time in creating an appeal to prospective readers. Kimia Madani’s 2017 publication is adorned with an alluring cover; it is saturated with intense blues and blacks, which are in...
Awaiting a Facón In the Back
Stephen Page's tall tale inspired poetry is back with more dream like language and tension than ever in The Salty River Bleeds. It is full of descriptions of hard farm life, daydreams and countless mo...
Maddox Zeroes in on Microcosms
Bittersweet, complex energies wrestle through the verses of Marjorie Maddox's Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation. Published in 2004 through Wipf and Stock Publishers, this set of poetry is mark...
Ryder Pittz3 months ago
Terrance Hayes and Grand Tradition
"Probably twilight makes the blackness dangerous"—Terrence Hayes Probably twilight makes blackness dangerous Darkness. Probably all my encounters Are existential jambalaya. Which is to say, A nigga ca...
Fantastically Executed Poetic Savagery
Heed the title Secure Your Own Mask and follow its instructions, readers, before cracking the spine of Shaindel Beers' fantastically executed poetic savagery. Her 2018 collection, published through th...
Love and Mourning
An endless echo of weary, despondent sighs is what reverberates in this 2011 poetry book, written by Richard Atwood (and what it contains almost exclusively). Atwood's emotional poems throughout Death...
Optimism and Happiness Abound
Virginia Martin's collection Love Without Borders (published in 2017) is the third volume in a six part series. Readers will immediately discover that Martin's poetry is full of encouragement, optimis...
Menny Offers Poetic Commentary on Social Issues
The cover of Melissa Menny's 2018 debut poetic collection, Mask Shavings, is rather deceptive. Bright neon butterflies seem to flutter invitingly at readers as they float off into a white abyss. The c...
A Universe Within Verse
Stephen Page's 2016 poetic collection, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, which was published by Finishing Line Press, is a verse novel really. His ballad like descriptions take place in South America...
A Sharp, Young New Voice in Poetry
Lamar Neal's We All Need Therapy, published in 2019, is a passionate collection dripping with sarcasm, rage and an immense sadness. It is also intensely ambitious at 174 pages long. There are so many ...
Blueberry Fresh Poetry
Poetry is not confined to the house in this collection. It through streams and frolics among blueberry bushes. The intrinsic beauty and mysticism found in nature swells out from the cover of this poet...
Willy Wonka has Nothing on Anne-Adele Wight
Opera houses may never be looked at in the same again. Anne-Adele Wight's Opera House Arterial, published in 2013 by BlazeVOX [books], is a work that will never be confused with anything else. The ent...
Poetry in Pianissimo
Bill Cushing's Notes and Letters is an endearing little chapbook, and was published in 2016. Its contents range from observations of nature and odes to diners, to waxing on religious faith. The origin...
A Child of Two Families Reveals Herself Through Poetry
Carol Anderheggen draws her the readers of her work inside her poetic world,"...this space called home...," where "there are no safe harbors / only life rafts / here and there..." In her 2017 poetry c...