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Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe Reviewed in Savay Verse and Wit

 

Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe


Source: Poet Jennifer C. Wolfe
Paperback, 108 pages
 

Reflections of Hostile Revelries: A Collection of Political Poetry Musings by Jennifer C. Wolfe is another collection of political poetry ripped from the headlines, as the narrator comments on the mistakes made by our political leaders and political campaigns gone wrong.  These poems read more like critical essays, rather than verse, using a narrative prose style that grabs a headline and picks it apart with a fine-toothed comb to unveil the unsupported facts of today’s political platforms and the flip-flopping of candidates eager to please the masses.  She covers topics ranging from immigration enforcement to the “nanny” state laws, and some of these poems are hilarious in their re-appropriation of pop culture.

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The Color Symphonies by Wade Stevenson reviewed by Midwest Book Review!

 
The Color Symphonies

Wade Stevenson
Blazevox Books
9781609641757      $16
www.blazevox.org 
 
Books on synesthesia are typically nonfiction accounts of the ability to 'feel colors'; but to have a literary, poetic work packed with descriptions integrating colors with characters and life is truly a horse of another color. Perhaps equating The Color Syphonies with Proust's flavorful writings would come closest; but even then, Proust is relatively inaccessible to all but the most literary follower - and The Color Symphonies is eminently accessible.
 
Like a delicious ice cream, bits of color flake off in the mouth and leave pleasing impressions with every bite: "In the playful day/jets of light were launched,/the white spaces shuddered,/there was dazzling cobalt blue/fused with windblown yellow./You begin to hear colors/you never thought would speak."
 
Biographical accounts have attempted to explain the perceptions and sensations of synesthesia; but few have truly succeeded… until now, it seemed one must be one of those rare individuals to 'feel color' or even understand descriptions of such a feeling.
 
The poems in The Color Symphonies are like a blind man learning to see for the first time: they bring with them an extra dimension of perception and, for just a moment, take readers along on the journey that is synesthesia: a heightened sense of color perception that integrates color with sound and movement to create a symphony of extrasensory impressions.
 
Wade Stevenson's words are delicately wrought and deftly capture the flavors and sensations of all kinds of light - even that which lies between in the realm of neither darkness or light: "It's not darkness or light,/it's not grey either,/doesn't come close to being/any known form of blue/It lies above the garden and the chairs,/unlike a fog it doesn't obscure/objects or dissolve them from sight"
 
It's rare that a poetic work can be recommended for that fellow artist, the painter or capturer of colors. Usually wordsmiths and painters are separate creatures, each striving to capture the color-haunted world in a different manner, with different tools.
 
Here the synthesis comes together - once more, a symphony of color - and invites the fellow artist working in another medium to come on in, sit down, and partake.
 
The language of colors, their interactions, and their presentation all come to life in a collection where colors are the main characters, assuming the vibrant words of a canvas and interacting with calls and responses in the world that contains them, keeps them from spilling, merges and dissolves them, and simply dances.
 
A good poetry collection describes. A better poetry collection captures. But a superior work absorbs, dissolves, recreates, immerses, and then dances … such is The Color Symphonies. There's simply quite nothing like its animated free verse and light-filled perspective, even in today's overloaded poetry genre.
 
D. Donovan, e-book reviewer for Midwest Book Review

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Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe Reviewed in Midwestern Book Review

 
The Poetry Shelf
 
Reflections of Hostile Revelries
Jennifer C. Wolfe
BlazeVox
131 Euclid Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217
9781609641528, $16.00, 108pp, 
 
Synopsis: Jennifer C. Wolfe's "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" is a compendium of politically oriented poetry focused on the hypocrisies and naivety, aspirations and personalities of the American political landscape. Deftly encapsulated into word fashioned pictures of life and politics both before and after the 2012 election of America's first African American president, as well as snapshot responses in verse to extraordinary political events ranging from the shooting of Travon Martin to the conflict raging in Syria, "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" is a truly seminal volume reflecting the politics of poetry -- and the poetry of politics.
 
Criteria: Jennifer C. Wolfe is an exceptionally talented wordsmith whose poetry lingers in the mind long after "Reflections of Hostile Revelries" has been set back on the shelf. 'Candy Slogans': Ah, that colorful Texas Govenor, Rick Perry: // He, who is so enamored of invoking his state's unique succession clause, / Threatening to secede from the Union, whenever he becomes outraged, / Or throws a childish political tantrum. // A prestigious candy company had a hit advertising slogan for two / Of their select candy bars, which i think summarizes Mr. perry quite well / "Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut" (Texas); "Sometimes You Don't" (Rest of the US).

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Pam Brown reviews Flux and Wild Black Lake by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

 

Pam Brown reviews Flux and Wild Black Lake by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa in Plumwood Mountain 

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Flux. New York: BlazeVOX books, 2013. http://www.blazevox.org/. ISBN 978 1 60964 155 9

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Wild Black Lake. Arroyo Grand, CA: Hank’s Original Loose Gravel Press, 2014.

theenkBooks@rochester.rr.com

 

Pam Brown

 

In Flux, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa plunges straight in to a dense monologue prompted by the absence of various postcards that are lost, never written, never sent, forgotten, refused by a post office because of profanity, illegibly addressed and even a postcard swept away in a typhoon. The typhoon sets the scene. The location is Japan – where Jane lives. It’s summer – after the “Hello Kitty alarm clock” interrupts sleep and is instantly hurled across the room still shrieking its alarm in Japanese – “mada da neOKITE! – still asleep? GET UP!’” … “somehow I manage to unstick myself from the crinkled bed sheets and stumble outside to the nearest sushi restaurant, where, being a vegan of course, I peel from the rice and then hurl the fishy parts until they stick to the restaurant conveyor belt. It’s so hot I assume I’ll be forgiven for this impropriety (and all the others) yet here come two unarmed guards wearing bright pink lipstick tight white skirts gloves and white hats, to carry me back to the oppressively humid street while I scream no, no, please, I am a political refugee from the violent country that dropped atomic bombs on you twice, the land of Rodney King, gang rape and Trayvon Martin”. She imagines prison life as time filled by a combination of reciting the complete works of Basho (though she can remember only one short poem) and listening to Morrissey. At the end of this anxious dream she cannot get up – not even to retrieve a possible missing postcard from the red letterbox. The reader knows the poet is in a predicament and surmises that she is going to try to write her way out of it.

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Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss reviewed +972

 

 

'Dear Darwish': A poetically and politically brave book

Israeli-American poet Morani Kornberg-Weiss breaks with conventional poetics and mainstream politics. But who, exactly, is Dear Darwish for? 

Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss’s first collection of poetry, opens with a prose poem that that doubles as an indictment of Israeli society. Cleverly disguised as a letter, it is addressed to the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Like the poems that follow it, “Dear Mahmoud” does many things at once. It captures the violence inherent in establishing and maintaining the Jewish state. It accurately depicts Israelis’ objectifying and dehumanizing view of Palestinians. It shows how the state’s violence against Palestinians has seeped into Israeli society, permeating all aspects of life.

It’s no short order to do all this without losing the poetry to polemics. But Kornberg-Weiss manages to stay true to the horrible, tragic content of this book—including the nakba, the occupation, torture, death, and dispossession—while rendering a beautiful collection. That doesn’t mean that she dresses things up or distorts reality to make it palatable. Rather, she uses the lyrical to strip things down and offer them up to the reader, who is unable to tear their eyes away from Kornberg-Weiss’s searing, heartbreaking images.

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