Sunday, December 07, 2008

Po Picks

Like those year-end “Best” lists? Here’s one, with Cheryl’s picks of the poetry books she’s reviewed this year, and what she had to say about them:

What We Already Knew by Rick Cannon, Sheltering Pine Press
“Like William Stafford, Cannon focuses on simple details in everyday speech to examine the world around him. But the language is far from ordinary, nuances of phrase and image captured with interesting juxtapositions of words and stripped-down diction.”

Thirst by Patrick Carrington, Codhill Press
“In this chapbook, winner of the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Prize for 2006, the title announces the theme; the poems locate it in the personal. Patrick Carrington touches on several kinds of “Thirst”—for communion and connection, for a deeper understanding of faith and the way it operates in daily life.”

Dark Card by Rebecca Foust, Texas Review Press
“Foust’s use of poetic devices is as expert as her emotional spectrum is varied. Her line breaks reveal meaning in fresh ways, and her use of sound is a mark of her craft---the sustained vowels throughout “Instrument,” the single word lines in the final strophe of “Firstborn,” echoing the child’s first thin breath…”

The Sister Series by Carol Parris Krauss. Pudding House Publications
“The poems in Carol Parris Krauss’s The Sister Series involve movement of various kinds: hurricanes and snowstorms, boats and race cars, the flipping pages of paper movies…We meet sisters Sissy and Little Bit …in snapshot sentences that often begin with verbs, quickening the pace, recalling the motion of the hand drawn movies in the opening poem.”

Silent Actor by J. Michael Wahlgren, BeWrite Books
“J. Michael Wahlgren achieves an unusual cohesion in his first full length book of poems, Silent Actor. The collection is exhilaratingly experimental, but lyrical, and deeply felt. A sequence of interlocking poems in solid stanzas, two line stanzas, new forms that zigzag down the page, this collection has a novelistic feel.”

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