To Find Oneself With a Poet: A Brief Review of Andre Narbonne’s You Were Here

You Were Here Andre Narbonne 72 pages Flat Singles Press (2017) It is often said that poetry done right is one part memory, one part experience. Narbonne’s debut collection of poetry affords us this type of poetry, straddling the lines of a shared world and the very internal emotional way one experiences that world. ThisContinue reading “To Find Oneself With a Poet: A Brief Review of Andre Narbonne’s You Were Here”

To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon

Let’s start here. I met Campbell McGrath during my first semester at Indiana University – Bloomington. He was in town to do a master class with my fellow MFAers and doing a great deal of talking about his most recent collection at that time, Seven Notebooks. He took time with some of early work asContinue reading “To Ponder in One’s Time Apart: A Brief Review of and Thoughts on Campbell McGrath’s Shannon”

Epistles from the Land: A Review of Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens

  Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens by Ross Gay & Aimee Nezhukumatathil Organic Weapon Arts, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-9827106-6-1 I recall while attending Indiana University the sort of city-wide obsession with gardening. My wife and I had relocated to south central Indiana from the great wide open of Montana and its forever wild mindsetContinue reading “Epistles from the Land: A Review of Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens”

The Things that Haunt Us: A Review of Brian Kimberling’s Snapper

Snapper by Brian Kimberling Pantheon Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-0307908056 Let’s just start with a couple of biases upfront with this book. My wife is a massive bird nut and maybe, just maybe, I’ve caught a little bit of the warm fuzziness that accompanies this particular love affair. Next, that Snapper finds its foundational sense ofContinue reading “The Things that Haunt Us: A Review of Brian Kimberling’s Snapper”

The Philosophy of an Exile’s Return: Ignazio Silone’s Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone (translated from Italian by Gwenda Davis and Eric Mosbacher) Penguin Books, 1946 ISBN: N/A I first have to admit that I’ve been on little bit of an early 20th century literature kick. This particular novel is part of that kick. So upon finding a rather well worn copy ofContinue reading “The Philosophy of an Exile’s Return: Ignazio Silone’s Bread and Wine”

Coming of Age in a Punk Rock World: Thoughts on Joe Meno’s Hairstyles of the Damned

Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno Punk Planet Books, 2004 ISBN: 1-888451-70-X Let me start by admitting a couple of things. First off, I really dig coming of age novels. Yeah there is that big bold German term for this genre, but let’s just call it the coming of age story. And secondly, IContinue reading “Coming of Age in a Punk Rock World: Thoughts on Joe Meno’s Hairstyles of the Damned”

Writing the Outsider’s Biography: Thoughts on W.Somerset’s Cakes and Ale.

Cakes and Ale or The Skeleton in the Cupboard by W. Somerset Maugham Penguin Books, 1979 ISBN: 0140006516 Let’s start by saying something about this slim little book: I had never heard of it nor its author before coming across it. And it was in the fine shelves of Indy Reads Books bookshop a couple ofContinue reading “Writing the Outsider’s Biography: Thoughts on W.Somerset’s Cakes and Ale.”

Secrets and the Stories between Generations: A Brief Review of Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro.

Kokoro by Natsume Soseki translated by Edwin McClellan Gateway Editions, 1957 ISBN: 0-89526-951-1 Original published in 1914 in Japan and to much acclaim, Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro  helped to mark the end of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) in the country. The word “kokoro” is translated as heart in English. Because of this we have to assume thatContinue reading “Secrets and the Stories between Generations: A Brief Review of Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro.”

Inequality, Labor, and the Rise of Modern American Poetry: A Brief Book Review

Hog Butchers, Beggars, and Busboys: Poverty, Labor, and the Making of Modern American Poetry by John Marsh University of Michigan Press, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-472-05157-1 For those who know anything about me as a writer know that I most fundamentally believe that poetry (if not all writing) must and does have a social contract with theContinue reading “Inequality, Labor, and the Rise of Modern American Poetry: A Brief Book Review”

A Love, Possibly? A Brief Review of Jason Shinga’s Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)

Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not) by Jason Shinga Abrams ComicArts, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-0810997479 What can I say other than I’ve been a sucker for graphic novels ever since I was a teenager rustling up Sandman comics on Wynadotte Street back in the day in Windsor.  And given the chance to finally hit upContinue reading “A Love, Possibly? A Brief Review of Jason Shinga’s Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)”