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Archive for November 2012

“Big Bad Asterisk *” Poetry by Carlo Matos – Reviewed in Portuguese American Journal

Read a review of Carlo Matos's forthcoming book, “Big Bad Asterisk at the Portuguese American Journal

“Big Bad Asterisk *” Poetry by Carlo Matos – Review

By Michael Colson, Contributor (*)

The asterisk is one of the most neglected symbols in the history of typography.  What is an asterisk?  What does it signify?  What role does it play in our writing?  If there were a Saint Asterisk would she be a faint footnote in theLives of Saints?  These are among the unsung questions of our lettered lives.

An asterisk is a seven-fingered star that glitters on the ink-blotted page.  It designates an explanatory footnote, an omission, or a correction.  Often the asterisk performs a judicial sidebar of sorts, introducing information that doesn’t quite fit into the flow of discourse.  Occasionally, it can be ironic, cheeky, or paradoxical.

What is this sign that calls attention to itself?  “Look at me!” it seems to say, “Pay attention to me, only me, I’m no parentheses!”  The asterisk is, among other things, a jealous lover, a strumpet, a femme fatale.  We attend to it with our eyes, but really that’s never quite enough, because we’re called upon to follow wherever it leads.  The asterisk impishly tugs at our arm, beseeching us to step inside its mysterious dwelling, unto its seduction, its soft embellishments, redirecting our focus, down a rabbit hole perhaps, from a line of thought.  It whispers, “I shall lead you on a detour.  Relinquish your devotion to linear thought, for waylaid is the path of parataxis.”

Read the whole review at the Portuguese American Journal

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Continental Drifts by Cheryl Pallant Reviewed by Third Factory

Check out this fine set of five reviews on Third World by Sarah Rosenthal. Cheryl's appears near the bottom of the page. Here is a small snipet of the article. 

Cheryl Pallant | Continental Drifts | BlazeVOX | 2012

The long lines in Cheryl Pallant’s Continental Drifts dash, dip, twist, double back and leap ahead, enacting simultaneously the groundedness gravity demands and the instability wrought by the law of constant change. “Adrift I am sands to shore, fire to ice, bones tendoning tendencies.” Pallant’s background in dance feels evident here; these poems are ready for a session of seasoned, rough-and-tumble contact improv between a constantly filling and emptying “I” and “you”: “Who follows whom can or may situate her or himself. Together or alone lifts cup to drink. We or I romp in a field or flatter yet, a pain.” A heightened awareness of limits—”After this there is no other”—leads to a fearlessness that invigorates: “Space opens like a book yet to be written.”


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Like tectonic plates drifting apart and colliding, Cheryl Pallant’s language in Continental Drifts shatters into microcosmic worlds and re-coalesces into new contours, expressing desire afresh. The ceaseless motion of destruction and re-alignment, of fertility and quiescence, is also the engine that propels speech into meanings yet just as soon incinerates them. In Pallant’s exquisitely musical streams of thought, forces in different realms coincide: “Hormones flow as insistently as magma.” But such sympathetic vibrations belie a restless instability at the heart of phenomena, and Pallant’s poetry shape-shifts to reveal the dialogue among energies that beget and erase. Continental Drifts simultaneously offers “a handful of earth and emptiness” and opens up within silence a rich realm whose core is “ripe beyond perishable, ache beyond blossom.”

—Camille Martin

Cheryl Pallant is the author of several poetry books, chapbooks, a collaboratively written poetry book, and a nonfiction book on dance. Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been anthologized and published in numerous online and print journals in the United States and abroad. She has taught writing and dance at University of Tulsa, Keimyung University (in S. Korea), University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Richmond VA.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 118 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-085-9


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Continental Drifts by Cheryl Pallant Book Preview

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Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch by Kenneth Warren Reviewed on Swithcback

Purple Passages and Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch

Patrick James Dunagan

Eros is the desire to be making. That is, eros here is a work and a drive, the work of making works. (30)

-Rachel Blau DuPlessis

The clash of poetics over “the onslaught” of soul in Buffalo involves claims by these opposing clans to earthly lineage and heavenly linkage. (423)

-Kenneth Warren

Kenneth Warren has from the start been writing from a truly outsider perspective (outside any and all sense of academia and at times outside the already fringe camps of experimental poetry) and, as is well demonstrated by this massive collection of reviews, essays, and other assorted commentaries, Warren grounds his critical responses in both the local and personal while demonstrating a vital interest in appealing to wider societal concerns. Included here are his early beginnings as a chronicler of the local music scene in Cleveland, OH, reviewing shows by a number of punk bands and other more widely recognized performers such as Bo Diddley. He also offers a consideration of David Lynch’s filmBlue Velvet. Throughout the 80s and 90s Warren published these writings regularly in publications such as: Alternative PressAmerican Book ReviewContact IIExquisite CorpseGargoyle, Intent, andRolling Stock.

Purple PassagesCaptain Poetry

In equal spirit, the commentary Rachel Blau DuPlessis adds to critical consideration of twentieth century American poetry and poetics is vital and she’s able to present it as all the more so since her own creative work as a poet is influenced by, and in conversation with, the poets she’s addressing. 

Read the whole Review here

Book Information:

· Paperback: 460 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-063-7


Explore this title on BlazeVOX [shop]

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Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980–2012 by Kenneth Warren Book Preview


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