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Book Reviews

  • making oxygen, remaining inside this pure hollow note, by M. Ann Reed, reviewed by Sakina B. Fakhri
    The poems in M. Ann Reed’s making oxygen, remaining inside this pure hollow note invite the reader into the hollow growing point we share with plants – the silent note through which, as the author says in the Preface, we breathe soul-life into words, words into musical patterns, musical patterns into images, all literary features into meaning. And so this book unravels, teaching the reader how to read it as it proceeds with a sense of movement without propulsion – a sense of moving-with instead of moving-towards. The words do not merely transform, but transform with the reader.
  • With Extreme Prejudice, Lest We Forget, by Emmett Wheatfall, reviewed by Carolyn Martin
    As a poet astutely aware of the challenges facing 21st century America, Emmett Wheatfall has never shied away from the in-your-face-truths all of us need to hear. With Extreme Prejudice, Lest We Forget is his latest foray into truth-telling. This collection bears witness to the history of the COVID-19 pandemic which Wheatfall elegantly describes as The greatest hitchhiker on earth…/making its rounds (“Every Nation Under The Sun”).
  • Transition Thunderstorms, by Beth Bonness, reviewed by Roxanne Colyer
    In Transition Thunderstorms, Beth Bonness offers breathtaking insights into life events we find hard to talk about with the people we love most. This book is a tender and honest lifeline to reconnection.
  • Perigee Moon, by Margaret Chula, reviewed by Jeanne Yu
    In her collection, Perígee Moon, Margaret Chula invites us closer into the luminous light of tanka, a poetic form rooted in the Japanese Heian era (790 –1180 A.D.) Tanka, meaning literally “short song,” has captured the imagination of lovers, warriors, and emperors over the centuries. Today tanka remains popular in weekly Japanese newspaper columns and as a mainstay in imperial family customs.
  • More Alice—Further Fragments, by Matthew Michael Hanner, reviewed by Gayle Kaune
    Fans of Michael Hanner’s earlier work, Alice—What I Heard, will be pleased with this charming and inventive sequel, More Alice—Further Fragments. The main character, Alice, is a chimera whose mini adventures coalesce to form a whirligig of her life.
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