The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke by Theodore Roethke - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385086011
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor - December 10th, 1974

Just about my favorite American poet, Roethke like so many poets of his generation was an American poète maudit and died tragically (in a swimming pool). He has one of the most wonderful ears in 20th century poetry—attuned to music and rhythm. His poetry moves between formal (the classic “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Elegy for Jane”) and free verse (the wonderful, long meditative sequences), even into sinister children’s poetry (e.g., “Dirty Dinky”). Roethke’s childhood spent in his father’s greenhouse had a lasting effect on his poetry, and he produced some of the greatest evocations of plant-life. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781943735426
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Published: Button Poetry - November 27th, 2018

Winner of awards, writer of almost any liberal subject Gibson has a mix of poems about their personal journey, depression, lovers, current events, gender identity and life in general. Mature subject matter but is accessible to the older teen on up to adult. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones: Poems by Cynthia Marie Hoffman - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780892554898
Availability: Special Order
Published: Persea - July 3rd, 2018

"Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom

I'm not a poetry fan, so I'm unsure what about this book called to me. I am glad I was though, as this is a beautiful little volume, written in free verse, in which a mother and daughter attempt to retrace their family history through old photos, letters, and historical records. We all want to know more about our ancestors, but we often never spend the time truly looking into who these people were and what their lives were like. Don't we all want to be remembered? ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll

Crush by Richard Siken - Book Review

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By Richard Siken, Louise Glück (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780300107890
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Published: Yale University Press - April 11th, 2005

In her foreword, Louise Gluck compares Siken's work to Plath's—an obsessive genius that is unforgettable and inimitable. Siken is the poet other poets are too scared to be. Every page says dare dare dare truth truth truth truth. The kind of book you wish everyone would read, and also the kind of book you don't wish to discuss with anyone, as you would rather keep it tucked somewhere close and private. ~ Reviewed by Hanna Yost

Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781328507846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 6th, 2018

This collection from two-time US Poet Laureate combines poems from Trethewey’s previous books (and the entirety of her 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning Native Guard) and a section of new work. Trethewey’s poems are heady, powerful, and gorgeously wrought mixing traditional forms, free verse, and daring narrative structures. A poet of mixed race, she consistently tackles racism, identity, and the African-American experience in poems informed by historical subjects including the Louisiana Native Guard, an all-black Union regiment that guarded Confederate POWs and selections from Bellocq’s Ophelia, an epistolary sequence inspired by early twentieth century photographs of mixed race prostitutes in New Orleans. Some of the most powerful poems are ekphrastic meditations on paintings—particularly a series of poems regarding limbs transplanted from black donors onto white bodies and a sequence based on Spanish taxonomies of race. She has deeply affecting poems about her mother who was murdered by her step-father in a tragic case of domestic abuse, her imprisoned brother, domestic workers, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A magisterial collection of 20 years of work marking her as a major American poet. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

What Work Is: Poems by Philip Levine - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780679740582
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Published: Knopf - April 21st, 1992

Truck stops and bus stations; gin bottles and beer cans; the post office, the market; the minutiae of Levine’s daily life is rich with texture and nuance. The frozen rivers and slushy streets of Michigan and Ohio are on full, gritty display in this National Book Award-winning collection. From factory lines to middle schools, Levine examines toil and fatigue in all its dreary forms with nostalgic, empathetic verse. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


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