May 19, 2022

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 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. […]

Damaged Heritage, The Elaine Race Massacre and A Story of Reconciliation by J. Chester Johnson (with Foreword by Sheila L. Walker)

Review by Melinda Thomsen Books, ISBN, 9781643134666 Call It By Its Name            My copy of J. Chester Johnson’s Damaged Heritage arrived on May 27th, the day after reports of George Floyd’s murder at the knee of a police officer. I finished the book in three days because Johnson’s compelling story gave me hope. In […]

Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic Edited by Alice Quinn

Review by Rachael Warmington Edited by Alice QuinnAlfred A. Knopf, 2020, 184 pages, $27.00ISBN 978-0-593-31872-0                       In the Introduction to the anthology of poems, Together in a Sudden Strangeness, Alice Quinn observes that these poets are from across America and “the landscapes and events they are experiencing” are reflected in their poems (xvii). This is apparent […]

Said No One Ever by Gregory Crosby

Review by Pamela L. Laskin                      Gregory Crosby’s latest collection of poetry, Said No One Ever, is a nostalgic journey back through popular culture, music, art, form, birth and transformation as he explores the ghosts and the music of language. Ghosts since so many people Crosby has known and loved have died, and the way he keeps […]