Laura DiNovis Berry
Welcome! I provide free book reviews for modern poets! At the end of the year, 10% of all earnings and donations will be given to a non profit organization. This year you will all be helping Lambda Literary! Thank you!
A Universe Within Verse
Stephen Page's 2016 poetic collection, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, which was published by Finishing Line Press, is a verse novel really. His ballad like descriptions take place in South America, in Argentina to be exact, and convey the dreamlike stories of his characters, rancher Jonathan, and his wife Teresa. Page's poetic style is compact, but detailed. Through his well executed stanzas, his readers are invited to explore Jonathan's hard edged, working world.
A Sharp, Young New Voice in Poetry
Lamar Neal's We All Need Therapy, published in 2019, is a passionate collection dripping with sarcasm, rage and an immense sadness. It is also intensely ambitious at 174 pages long. There are so many calculated and intense pieces which are perfect in their delivery, but at the same time there are also so many in which the poet seems to be struggling to determine the perfect key for his voice.
Blueberry Fresh Poetry
Poetry is not confined to the house in this collection. It through streams and frolics among blueberry bushes. The intrinsic beauty and mysticism found in nature swells out from the cover of this poetry collection created by Elaine Reardon.
Willy Wonka has Nothing on Anne-Adele Wight
Opera houses may never be looked at in the same again. Anne-Adele Wight's Opera House Arterial, published in 2013 by BlazeVOX [books], is a work that will never be confused with anything else. The entire collection defies any strict labels of what poetry must be or act like.
Poetry in Pianissimo
Bill Cushing's Notes and Letters is an endearing little chapbook, and was published in 2016. Its contents range from observations of nature and odes to diners, to waxing on religious faith. The origin story of the entire collection, is perhaps, the most fascinating aspect of the work. Bill Cushing, the poet in question, knew Chuck Corbisiero when they were young, and lived in the same neighborhood in New York. Cushing was in a band, which would practice in Corbisiero's garage, though Corbisiero was not in this band at the time. But then they grew up, moved away. As luck would have it, these two men were able to reconnect many years later in Los Angeles.
A Child of Two Families Reveals Herself Through Poetry
Carol Anderheggen draws her the readers of her work inside her poetic world,"...this space called home...," where "there are no safe harbors / only life rafts / here and there..." In her 2017 poetry collection Born-child, published by Finishing Line Press, Anderheggen explores the depths of internal consternation that can be found in a child of adoption. In this particular work, "home" is not depicted in its traditional sense as comforting or warm. The feelings of comfort and happiness are instead found emanating from the natural world, "in the marsh," "...the child rises, / touches the earth goodbye..." and is able to find a bliss which lets her "...believe for an instant / that there were not / wolves at my doorstep..."
An Anti-Fairytale Book of Poetry
Christine Stoddard's poetry collection 'Water for the Cactus Woman', published through Spuyten Duyvil Publishing in 2018, weaves an almost anti-fairy tale onto the page. The speaker, a biracial character yearning for her mother's love and reaching out for some kind of connection with her dead grandmother, reveals that a massive change in location cannot transform what is bitter, bittersweet—frustrated and frustrating—into anything other than what it is. It is as the speaker says, "A grave is a grave is a grave / unless that grave belongs / to someone you loved."
Pause for a Poet: Anne-Adele Wight
[This interview was conducted by Laura DiNovis Berry (LDB) by phone in the summer of 2018.] The phone rings and immediately there is a cheery voice on the other line greeting me enthusiastically. I am speaking with Anne-Adele Wight (AW), a woman as vivacious, energetic, and unique as her poetry. I had been eager to speak with her after discussing her poetry collection, The Age of Greenhouses, with my compatriots at a meeting of the Kennett Library Poetry Discussion Club.
Walk from Brook Avenue into History
New York City may have only been the fifth girl in Sex and the City, but W. R. Rodriquez honors the entire state of New York by raising it up to play the role of the cosmos in From the Banks of Brook Avenue. Rodriquez's 2015 poetry collection delivers a seething critique of the United States of America's torrid past and a myriad of hypocrisies while struggling with the fact that no entity is an entirely flat character. All things are multifaceted, multidimensional in both their evil and good doings. Nothing is pure, "...the world is too crooked / for that;" everything is tainted and yet everything is beautiful. The complexity of the beings present in his work creates both heroes and antagonists.
Art Imitates Life in Snyder's Work
Flashback after flashback whirls the readers of Sarah Dickenson Snyder's 2017 poetry collection, The Human Contract, through an entire lifetime. The speaker recollects her childhood and her process of growing up in vivid detail. Her parents are revived, in a way too, through this impressive collection of verse. Snyder conjures them up when they were thriving adults and sets them back down that path which inevitably leads them into their physical decline. Her grandfather is featured in the text as well before she moves on to the forays of parenting her own children.
In Review: 'Frenetic Lines'
D. Gabrielle Jensen's 2018 poetry collection, Frenetic Lines, reads as a youthful artistic creation; it is not that the work is childlike, but rather similar to an adolescent red-tailed hawk. The text is well on its way to becoming an elegant predator, but it is still working out how its wings operate, how to properly sink each talon into its kill, learning when it is best to let loose that wind cracking screech.
Carla M. Cherry's Poems Are Pearls
These Pearls Are Real is a beautiful, tragic, uplifting and colorful collection of poetry, but its more fascinating feature is that it is absolutely pulsating with life. Carla M. Cherry's 2018 collection, published though Wasteland Press, is a living, breathing creation.