book reviews

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

Ryder Pittz13 hours 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...
An Anti-Fairytale Book of Poetry
Christine Stoddard's poetry collection 'Water for the Cactus Woman', published through Spuyten Duyvil Publishing in 2018, weaves an almost anti-fairy tale onto the page. The speaker, a biracial charac...
Pause for a Poet: Anne-Adele Wight
[This interview was conducted by Laura DiNovis Berry (LDB) by phone in the summer of 2018.] The phone rings and immediately there is a cheery voice on the other line greeting me enthusiastically. I am...
Walk from Brook Avenue into History
New York City may have only been the fifth girl in Sex and the City, but W. R. Rodriquez honors the entire state of New York by raising it up to play the role of the cosmos in From the Banks of Brook ...
Art Imitates Life in Snyder's Work
Flashback after flashback whirls the readers of Sarah Dickenson Snyder's 2017 poetry collection, The Human Contract, through an entire lifetime. The speaker recollects her childhood and her process of...
In Review: 'Frenetic Lines'
D. Gabrielle Jensen's 2018 poetry collection, Frenetic Lines, reads as a youthful artistic creation; it is not that the work is childlike, but rather similar to an adolescent red-tailed hawk. The text...
Carla M. Cherry's Poems Are Pearls
These Pearls Are Real is a beautiful, tragic, uplifting and colorful collection of poetry, but its more fascinating feature is that it is absolutely pulsating with life. Carla M. Cherry's 2018 collect...
Nilsen's 'Without A Kiss' Is Not Without a Warning
While Phoebe Nilsen's chapbook is at first unassuming in its slender arrangement, its warning to the readers who trace their fingers down its white pages is great. Published in 2018 by Finishing Line ...