This Week, I Read Gabriel Oladipo: Emma

Image Credit: Pietra Schwarzler via Unsplash Emma, by Gabriel Oladipo, is a series of voice poems from the perspective of a teenage girl, Emma. She is addressing those who are close to her, in a sort of confessional. Whether she’s actually telling them, or this is a journal is unclear.   The poem, “White Teeth,”…

This Week, I Read Greg Santos’s Ghost Face

Image Credit: Steinar Engleland via Unsplash “If I ever visit Cambodia,/I wonder what it will be like/ to be met with smiling faces that look like mine?” the speaker in Greg Santos’s collection, Ghost Face asks. “Will I feel at home/ or utterly alone?” Ghost Face is about how the speaker fits in to his…

This Week, I Read Lindsay Lusby’s Catechesis

Image Credit: Evie Schaffer via Unsplash “A girl has two choices:/ to be a tree or/ to be the forest,” the speaker declares in Lindsay Lusby’s collection of – poems, Catechesis, a Postpastoral.  The collection is a stunning pastiche, interwoven with references to Grimm’s Fairytales, Silence of the Lambs, anatomical drawings from Grey’s Anatomy, and…

This Week, I Read Vanessa Maki’s Haunted Mind

Image Credit: MontyLov via Unsplash *Content Warning: The book reviewed contains discussion of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.* For the record, I will always promote books which discuss taboo subjects in a way that is meaningful and seeks to shed light on those subjects. Haunted Mind is one such book. “i’m your//devourer / your chaos /…

This Week, I Read Catherine Garbinsky’s Even Curses End

Image Credit: freestocks.org via Unsplash “I did not belong in the village/ where people would point and laugh,” the speaker in Catherine Garbinsky’s fairytale themed poetry collection, Even Curses End. “They did not see my robin’s egg heart/only the crooked branches of my body.” The pieces in this book tend to flip the narrative, telling…

This Week, I Read Alison Jones’s Heartwood

Image Credit: Micah Hallahan via Unsplash “Failing is fine, the best part of the heartwood is where you are going, with dead friends, passing through like falling mist,” the speaker assures the reader in Alison Jones’s chapbook, titled Heartwood.  The heartwood is the innermost part of a tree, which yields the hardest timber. In the…

This Week, I Read V.C. McCabe’s Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot

Image Credit: Justin Campbell via Unsplash “New York City poets see their muse’s reflection/in the shiny glass of towering skyscrapers,” the speaker in V.C. McCabe’s Appalachian Gothic collection of poems, entitled, Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot. “While here I sit in Appalachia—the point where/the Bible Belt’s buckle ever tightens the Rust Belt—/surrounded by nothing…