February 6, 2023

Country of Warm Snow by Mervyn Taylor

Shearsman Books, 2020 Review by Hilary Sideris Mervyn Taylor’s most recent collection of poems is about contrasts and contradictions, as its title, Country of Warm Snow suggests. Taylor, who grew up (and spent the pandemic) in Trinidad, has lived in New York City for many years. He often crafts poems out of conversations, distilling the […]

Talking to Strangers by Peter Neil Carroll

Turning Point Press, 2022 Review by Lee Rossi “What is it then between us?” Walt Whitman asked his readers and, not wanting to keep them in suspense, answered immediately, “Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails not.” Poet-historian Peter Neil Carroll might give the same answer. Like Whitman he is fascinated […]

It’s About Time, by Barry Wallenstein

New York Quarterly Books February, 2022, 124 pages, $18.95 ISBN: 978-1-63045-082-3 Review by Susana H. Case The pun in the title of Barry Wallenstein’s new and eleventh poetry collection, It’s About Time, is that of impending mortality, the diminution of the number of years left for vital living. “The cornucopia is no longer / overflowing” […]

Now and Then: SELECTED LONGER POEMS by J. Chester Johnson

Review by Melinda Thomsen St. Johann Press, 2017, 259 pages, $22.33 ISBN 978-1937943-318, paper “Stop Being Normal” J. Chester Johnson’s important collection Now And Then: SELECTED LONGER POEMS includes poems that reflect almost four decades of writing. “The Mixer,” “Meditation on Civil Rights Activists,” “Martin,” and “For Conduct and Innocents” are housed in the Civil […]

LOVE IN THE LAST DAYS: After Tristan and Iseult, by D. Nurkse

Review by Carl Rosenstock Penguin Random House, 2017, 104 Pages, $27.00 ISBN: 9780451494801, 9780451494818, & Kindle, hardcover “ … this story is strange to me / like wine tasted in a lover’s mouth”, fr. “Prelude” The legend of Tristan and Iseult found its way into Anglo-French literature in the 12th century, apparently inspired by older […]

Cooking with the Muse: A Sumptuous Gathering of Seasonal Recipes, Culinary Poetry, and Literary Fare by Stephen Massimilla and Myra Kornfeld

Review by Hannah Howard www.cookingwiththemuse.com Tupelo Press, ISBN, 1936797682 / ISBN, 9781936797684 The best poems are utterly delicious. Like a soul-satisfying meal, to share, savor, devour, and digest them is one of life’s true joys. They make a day brighter, a romance more romantic. They capture our imaginations, stir our hearts, make us softer, better. […]

Degrees of Freedom, by Nicholas Johnson

Review by Stephen Massimilla New York: Bright Hill Press In Degrees of Freedom, Nicholas Johnson displays a liberating knack for navigating a labyrinth with no exit. His tone is sophisticatedly colloquial, his purport archly sincere. It is truly a testament to the quality of his work that I can describe it only in oxymoronic terms. […]