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In the Shadow of Wings — Laurie Byro's The Bird Artists

The Bird Artists by Laurie Byro

The Bird Artists
by Laurie Byro

H&H Press, 2009; 26 pages; $10.00
ISBN 978-1-61539-948-2, paper

Reviewed by Diana Manister

At least since Homer turned sailors into swine, animal symbolism has proved to be a handy device for depicting human experiences, usually of the baser sort. Blake and the later Romantic poets, especially Keats, valorized the animal energies that the Enlightenment had repressed. As Robert Bly describes the process in his book Leaping Poetry, non-human states became a favored topos of modern poets as stand-ins for the self.  Read Review


The Liar's Paradox: Original Green
by Patricia Carlin

Original Green by Patricia Carlin

Original Green
by Patricia Carlin

Marsh Hawk Press; 2003; 77 pages; $12.95
ISBN 0-9724785-0-7, paper

Reviewed by Carl Rosenstock

The Liar's Paradox was invented by the 4th century B.C. philosopher Eubulides, the successor to Euclid. In its simplest form, it is the proposition "This statement is false" or (more to the point) "I am lying." A perfect, and perfectly vicious, circle. If true, it is false; and if false, it is true. A homely little puzzle, it has been used for millennia to exemplify the limits of logic. However, it is worth pointing out that this homely little paradox is the cornerstone of one of the major innovations of 20th century mathematics — Gödel's Theorem of Incompleteness.  Read Review


Several Gravities
by Keith Waldrop

Several Gravities by Keith Waldrop

Several Gravities
by Keith Waldrop

Edited and with an introduction by Robert Seydel
Color & b/w illustrations

Siglio Press, 2009; 112 pages; $39.50
ISBN: 978-0-9799562-1-8, casebound

Reviewed by Sarah White

Keith Waldrop's career as a poet, publisher, translator, essayist and memoirist has never trapped him in a labyrinth of words. Or, if it has, he has regularly escaped from it into a forest of images. There he has fashioned hundreds of complex collages some thirty of which are reproduced in Several Gravities alongside the artist's statements on process, a selection of his poems, and an extensive editorial essay by his editor, Robert Seydel.  Read Review


Falling Into Velazquez
by Mary Kaiser

Falling Into Velazquez by Mary Kaiser

Falling Into Velazquez
by Mary Kaiser

Winner, Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition 2006

Slapering Hol Press, 2007; 32 pages; $12.00
ISBN-13: 978-0970027771, paper

Reviewed by Patricia Brody

Alabama-based poet Mary Kaiser's voluptuous debut collection, Falling Into Velazquez, draws the reader into its taut gallery of "passageways…blackened walls and a ring of eyes," where the masters and masterpieces wait, "to [flame you] blind." Yes, Kaiser sets up her series of ekphrastic — and often ecstatic — poems as a kind of tour: From the title poem, where the 5-year-old narrator wrestles a huge European Masterpieces onto her lap "The fat spine sinks between my legs" we follow this carefully curated exhibit, and we are taught the painter's language of color, light and consciousness through the perception of Kaiser, our guide.  Read Review


Word Comix
by Charlie Smith

Word Comix by Charlie Smith

Word Comix
by Charlie Smith

W. W. Norton, 2009; 96 pages; $23.95
ISBN 978-0-393-06762-0, hardcover

Reviewed by Hilary Sideris

In his new book of poems, Word Comix, Charlie Smith continues to dazzle his readers with lines as surprising and strange as they are emotionally resonant. Smith eschews the autobiographical, and can be coolly ironic, but even in his irony there's a deep sadness, an acceptance, an embrace almost, of failure and loss.  Read Review


Poems by George Wallace

POPPIN' JOHNNY by George Wallace

by George Wallace

Three Rooms Press, 2010; 104 pages; $15.00
ISBN 978 0 9840700 2 2, paper

Reviewed by Angelo Verga

Influenced by a number of aesthetics, the poetry of George Wallace constitutes a departure from conventional academic poetry of the late 20th century; following paths suggested by French Surrealism and American Beat Prosody; his poems lean in the direction of invention and the imagination as much or more than to conventional narrative. Or to say it plainly, dear reader, he navigates between high and low diction with generosity, elegance and power.  Read Review