Category: Reviews

Review: White by Deni Ellis Béchard

Deni Ellis Béchard’s sixth book and third novel White is a high-res contemporary replica of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Part investigative journalism, part travel journal, White is captained by an American-Canadian journalist, Béchard (eponymously named), as he travels into the Congolese jungle to profile a mysterious, rogue conservationist. As he descends into the Congo’s dense briar of politicians and… Read more →

Review: The Popul Vuh, Translated from the K’iche’ by Michael Bazzett

At the University of Virginia, I teach an Introduction to Poetry class called “Dream, Death, and Myth.” While organizing the myth unit, I was met with a super-abundance of poems about Classical and Judeo-Christian mythology. Even among contemporary authors, there were so many great books to choose from, like Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red, Louise Glück’s Averno, and Gregory Orr’s… Read more →

Review: Who is Mary Sue by Sophie Collins

In Sophie Collins’ Who is Mary Sue? (Faber 2018), the interrogative provides backdrop to the deep problems of privilege, identity, gender, and Collins shapes her collection to surprise as much as shock us awake. And she not only makes the world we already know new through poetic image, but returns us to the ignored, truncated, and occluded voices and persons… Read more →

Review: The Final Voicemails by Max Ritvo

Max Ritvo’s second and final collection of poems, The Final Voicemails, has been published posthumously by Milkweed, two years after his death from Ewing’s sarcoma on August 23, 2016. Ritvo asked Louise Glück to select the best poems of what remained, both from earlier work and poems written toward the end of his life, a time of which Glück notes… Read more →

Review: Wilder by Claire Wahmanholm

Wilder by Claire Wahmanholm is a rare prophetic glimpse into a future haunted by the now. An alchemist of language, Wahmanholm’s first full-length book since her award-winning chapbook, Night Vision, is a revelry far beyond what I believed imagination could conjure. She gives us a complete stranger of a world, a planet ruled by its own profound logic of consistency… Read more →

Review: Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino

  Little gal, who knit thee? Dost thou know who knit thee? In “Self-Portrait,” the first poem of Kiki Petrosino’s third poetry collection, Witch Wife, the speaker introduces themes of origins and girlhood in the charming and danger-tinged language of fairy tale. The poem continues: “Gave thee milk & bid thee beg / Slid a purse between your legs.” This… Read more →

Review: The Undressing by Li-Young Lee

In a 2007 interview with Tina Chang, for the Academy of American Poets, Li-Young Lee, speaks to the the poem’s genesis as inseparable from the rhythms of human nature, and from world itself: “There’s no way to account for any thing or any event. If you rigorously dissect it, you realize that everything is a shape of the totality of… Read more →