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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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