Reviews

 

 


Driving Montana, Alone
by Katie Phillips

Driving Montana, Alone

Driving Montana, Alone
by Katie Phillips

Slapering Hol Press, 2010; 41 pages; $12
ISBN: 978-0-9820626-3-0, paper
http://www.writerscenter.org/driving.html

Reviewed by Lynn McGee

Katie Phillips' new chapbook, Driving Montana, Alone, winner of the 2010 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Contest, travels through a narrative landscape marked with images clear as signposts, both heartfelt and dispassionate. The beauty of the poems' simple observations is satisfying in and of itself, but Phillips transcends that beauty by letting it settle quietly amid her well-earned views on grief, and creating continuity, when life fragments.  Read Review

 



In Times of Danger
by Paul Oppenheimer

In Times of Danger

In Times of Danger
by Paul Oppenheimer

Spuyten Duyvil, 2010; 97 pages; $15.00
ISBN 978-1-933132-79-2, paper
http//www.spuytenduyvil.net

Reviewed by Sarah White

Paul Oppenheimer's book opens with a sonnet about bats flitting through the darkness. It closes with an 8-line lyric (one of the few non-sonnets) on the pleasure of freshwater fishing in sunlight. Do these pastoral scenarios belie the menace of his title, In Times of Danger? Far from it. The poet has knowingly enclosed his collection in a fragile outer framework which he proceeds to explode, reminding us of the deadly violence that exploded into the cloudless morning of September 11, 2001. Oppenheimer's cycle of some 90 sonnets explores the world as it was altered by that event, and tries to process the extreme urban distress in which we have lived since then.  Read Review

 


Transfiguration Begins at Home
by Estha Weiner

Transfiguration Begins at Home

Transfiguration Begins at Home
by Estha Weiner

Tiger Bark Press, 2009; 67 pages; $15.95
ISBN 978-0-9816752-2-0, paper
www.tigerbarkpress.com

Reviewed by Susana H. Case

The changes undergone in Estha Weiner's Transfiguration Begins at Home may not glorify or exalt in the conventional sense of transfiguration, but, rather, are transmutations of the self and vital others whom the poet examines as pieces of archaeology from her past, the pieces that didn't always turn out the way they might have if there were a well turned-out overseeing hand arranging the perfect life. But being well turned-out doesn't last, and perfection is unattainable, and it's still okay, as in this excerpt from the title poem that begins by describing the Cinderella Staircase of a home, as viewed by a child (presumably the author, although it's written in the third person)…  Read Review

 


VOCABULARY OF SILENCE: Poems by Veronica Golos

VOCABULARY OF SILENCE: Poems by Veronica Golos

VOCABULARY OF SILENCE:
Poems by Veronica Golos

Red Hen Press, 2011; 104 pages; $18.95
ISBN 978-1-59709-498-6, paper
http://www.redhen.org

Reviewed by George Wallace

There are many challenges confronting a person who would attempt the art of "poetry of witness." To try is to risk crossing a treacherous field -- landmines of smugness, sanctimoniousness, bald propaganda and preaching to the choir await the undisciplined or inadequately prepared poet.  Read Review