Since I’ve moved to California, I have had the good fortune of meeting Rich, who runs the Cholla Needles literary magazine out in Joshua Tree. He was one of the first people I met here. Kind with twinkling eyes, he sat with me awhile for coffee. We talked at length about the vibrant writing community in these parts.
Baseball has long been admonished for being too slow, too boring form of entertainment. Alan Harris proves those critiques to be wrong. He uses this sport has a vehicle to talk about life, death and the moments in between. His writing perfectly depicts those players and spectators who are quite ready to go home by the game's end and those who want to play just one more round of catch, just watch one more game. Harris' collection Fall Ball is chock full of a powerful somberness, a sardonic wit, mournful stanzas and the inevitability of death. In short, it is a beautiful work of poetry.
Robert A. Cozzi’s Kaleidoscope of Colors may shock readers when they feel its heft in their hands. It is quite a large assortment of poetry. Published by Beach Umbrella Publishing in 2019, Kaleidoscope of Colors is Cozzi’s fifth poetic work. As a poet, he is certainly loquacious—this collection in particular is three hundred and five pages long.
Growth, acceptance, vulnerability, and confusion are the plumage of this feathered little collection. As the readers flip open the yellow cover and make their way through the pages of Sweet Awakening, they will become most aware of the fledgling nature of Patricia Costanzo’s poetry. They will watch it peek out of its newly-cracked egg and tip it over the nest’s edge, embarking on its own sweet awakening. Costanzo’s poetic voice chirps a bit timidly, but it grows a bit bolder with every fresh attempt to cry out into the artistic universe. Unschooled, with no forms but free verse to guide her, this poet refuses to back down from her attempts at poetic flight.
The Luminary wastes no time in creating an appeal to prospective readers. Kimia Madani’s 2017 publication is adorned with an alluring cover; it is saturated with intense blues and blacks, which are interrupted by a blinding light shooting out through the darkness. Its design is uncharacteristically thrilling for a poetry collection. Readers could very well think they are picking up a thin book of suspense, or a fantastical novelette rather than a book of poems. Of course, the argument could be made that The Luminary is all those aspects of the literary world combined.
Stephen Page's tall tale inspired poetry is back with more dream like language and tension than ever in The Salty River Bleeds. It is full of descriptions of hard farm life, daydreams and countless moments of human failings. Although this most recent collection, which will be released later this year, is a continuation of Jonathan the rancher's story, the poetry also sows new characters into the readers' imaginations and harvests tantalizing, rich details about old familiar faces.