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The Wounded for the Water

Matt W. Miller’s latest collection, The Wounded for the Water (Salmon Poetry, 2018) opens with a preface poem that reads like a lonely sea shanty, a solitary voice singing: “Now to chart a way / of skinning waves … Now to slice beneath the bloom / of blue … Now to be sewn in foam / and still to breathe … Now to stitch across / all my definitions of drown.” The poem, like the book, renders masculinity visible in a setting of many waters—and with the collection’s refrain: What does it mean to drown?

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Iron Moon:An Anthology of Chinese Worker Poetry

...The translations by Eleanor Goodman are an impeccable achievement of negotiating two linguistic landscapes. Multiple layers of artistry are at play here, integrating the raw spirit of the original poems while also strategically fitting language into larger aesthetic dimensions. This collection reminds us of the many human complexities of industrial life, and the exceptional literary value in working class poetry. This book should be a staple in every poet’s respected collection.

 
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The Brighter House

William Wordsworth wrote in his poem, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality and Recollections of Early Childhood” that we are but “trailing clouds of glory…” and boldly declared, “Heaven lies about us in our infancy!” Wordsworth believed that children are wise and celestial, and as we grow we veer further and further from our divine selves. In her collection, The Brighter House, Kim Garcia suggests the opposite—that we are not de-spiritualized with age, and instead describes a personal transition from uneasy earthly child to heavenly poet. “Who can say what is a blessing?” says the speaker in the poem, “In the beginning was all the after.” “I am blessed with curses.”

 

Union River

Paul Marion writes, “To understand America, a good place to start is where you are.” A true “Poet of Place,” Marion’s Union River is a collection of writing that ranges from prose poems, to micro essays, to lyrical insights—all densely packed with the simple act of existing. Readers embark on a road trip where the concept of “America” becomes more than a country, a city, or spot on a map, but a place for the speaker to dramatize the state of consciousness and recognize the art of human life...

 

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