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Archive for October 2015

Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed at Word Riot

 

Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling

Review by Carlo Matos

Kristina Marie Darling’s Failure Lyric in many ways continues the work she started way back in Night Songs in both form and content. This is not to say one cannot enjoy it in isolation, only that her work openly invites the reader to consider how the current project represents a continued refinement of or variation on her favorite themes. For example, like many of its predecessors, Failure Lyric centers on a failed or failing relationship, contains erasures, and is told from the perspective of a woman whose beloved has vanished (or is vanishing) from her life. There is also the terrible silence, the deathly, museum-like landscape, and the overmastering desire to preserve and catalogue. For those who know Darling’s work, you will recognize the frozen garden of Requited, the glass curio cases of Melancholia, and the doomed epithalamia of X Marks the Dress(co-written with Carol Guess)—among many other similarities. 

In many of her earlier books, the female protagonist tended to be trapped in the home, buried under a pile of lover’s tokens, old love letters, and painful memories. However, in Requited, we get the first instantiation, I think, of a heroine on the move, of a lover on the run, chasing after or being chased by the ghosts of failed love. It is this heroine that concerns us here: “At first, you didn’t quite understand. How I carried all that grief from city to city.” But what really sets this book apart from its predecessors is the strange prescient failure of the relationship; that is, we see the marriage begin and end at the exact same time. 

Read the whole review here

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Anis Shivani to be interviewed on Pacifica Radio

 

Anis Shrivani was interviewed on the Living Arts program on Pacifica Radio on Thursday Oct. 15 2015. He spoke about poetry and his new book from BlazeVOX! Hurray and enjoy, it is a spirited conversation among many poets.

 Listen to the podacst here: http://archive.kpft.org/index.mob.php
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Dear You by Wade Stevenson Reviewed by Kirkus!

 Stevenson’s (Flutes and Tomatoes, 2015, etc.) latest collection offers 27 emotionally intense poems about his struggle with the end of a short but passionate relationship.

This memoir, made up primarily of poems, charts the author’s painful journey through the stages of grief—including a desperate search for answers, bargaining, blame, and anger. It details his relationship with the pseudonymous Mlle. X in the prologue essay, in which he tells of how he fatefully met her just after his first marriage ended. At the time, he was living in an apartment building that he owned in Buffalo, New York. Mlle. X was one of his tenants, and they quickly became lovers. A pregnancy and marriage followed, but then their intimacy deteriorated. In “Even the Dead Can Feel,” he tells of how the yearning and loneliness of being in a loveless marriage began eating away at him: “It’s while she’s asleep that my rage / Builds to a fiery crescendo that has no place to go / But to collapse hopelessly upon itself, an inert reminder / Of its own impotence.” After she leaves him, he shows how rage turned to despair in “Getting the Message,” a heart-rending poem about coming to grips with the end of a relationship: “One of these days I’m going to lose it, / Put a gun to my head and end the waking dream.” At the conclusion of the sequence of poems, the author relates how he found a kind of balance and rhythm in his life in “the light you left behind.” Overall, this collection lays bare the complexity of the tortured emotions of love lost. Along the way, it offers up revelations of how even the most painful endings can lead to new beginnings.

A brutally honest free-verse collection.

Read the whole review here 

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This Visit by Susan Lewis reviewed by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

 Susan Lewis holds a lovely command of rhythm, sound, and the weird possibilities that enter our relationships and life events. Whether we are reading her prose poems, like “This is Not a Movie” or “Dig,” or we are admiring the line breaks and white space of her linear poems in This Visit, we are always thinking about our connection to the narrator and the imposed distance from everyone, and everything, else, reflecting that same isolation
Susan Lewis_This Visitwe may observe when moving through our own lives and being aware of our impact on others, and their impact on us. I found these poems to be wildly interesting and thought-provoking, and they have stayed with me for weeks since I closed these three books and left them on my desk until I could review them. Sometimes a writer will do something in their work that gets a tight hold on me, and Lewis’s ability to surprise me through the narrator’s reactions to average goings-on (the digging, the hunter’s gear) has such a tight hold on me, and I don’t want it to let go. These images are so vivid and, cliché or not, leap off of the page and challenge my perceptions. Whether you are struggling like I was to find time to read and enjoy, or if you are simply looking for the next book to buy for your shelves, get your shovels and travel gear ready, and look Susan Lewis up. I am so happy to say that I picked such an excellent writer to turn to for my first day back to reading and reviewing books, and I’m sure, with not the slightest sliver of doubt in my mind, that you’ll enjoy her work, too, and become haunted by it. 








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Anis Shivani to be interviewed on Pacifica Radio thursday!

 

Anis Shivani will be hosted on Houston' s Pacifica radio station's Living Arts show this Thursday evening from 6 pm to 7 pm kpft 90.1 discussing his new book, Whatever Speaks on Behalf of Hashish. Do tune in!

Check out his book here

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Photos on flickr