Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay by Sarah Ann Winn

Review by Tammy Bendetti

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(Porkbelly Press 2016)

In Sarah Ann Winn’s latest poetry microchapbook, you don’t leave home – home leaves you. Winn builds her ghost story around the real-life collapse of Holland Island, Maryland, into the Chesapeake. Her thrifty six poems behave like a house, a bounded space lavish with meaning. But here, home is no longer itself, and can anchor us no more.

The opening and closing poems are centos, or poems made from pieces of other things. They disorder the familiar, acting out the central idea of the book. In the topsy-turvy bedrooms and kitchens of Haunting, the living become the ghosts. Winn explores the space with playful intimacy. Her poems’ speakers complain about the Home Owners’ Association, grown even more absurdly irrelevant now that the house is underwater. They invite divers to look out the window to view the Titanic. They offer up a tacky ghost tour, complete with “convincing 3D.” Continue reading

The Wanting by Kevin Clark (author interview)

Interview by Lynn Houston

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(Five Oaks Press, 2016)

Did you serve in Vietnam? What were you doing during that time? What is it you remember most of all about that historical era? 

I consider myself fortunate. My lottery number was 202. The army drafted up to 195. I was a junior at the University of Florida, where I’d gone to run track. The sixties diverted me away from track and on to all the issues of the day. Politically I most remember Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and then Watergate. Personally, I was swept up in the counterculture. Continue reading

Radiant Action & Radiant Companion by Matt Hart

review by Lynn Houston

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(H_NGM_N Books, 2016)

 

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(Monster House Press, 2016)

“I have only my love / to recommend it beyond what it already is.”
(Matt Hart, “Breaking Spring,” Radiant Companion)

By now, one of your friends has shared a social media meme with lines from the Leonard Cohen song “Anthem” that goes like this: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

The poems in Matt Hart’s latest two collections, Radiant Action (H_NGM_N Books) and Radiant Companion (Monster House Press), crack open language and spill light on the page. They radiate a galactic sense of warmth and well-being in response to the ever-fucked-up-ness of the world. And aren’t we hungry for art that reacts to hate and violence with love and light? Radiant Action and Radiant Companion are this historical moment’s necessary carnal communion, songs of self that blossom into melodies of every body: “this body—mine and yours, which is the same body” (68 RC); “My veins with your veins, my noise with your noise” (81 RC). Continue reading

The Last Pub on Earth by Peter E. Murphy

review by Paul Fuhr

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(Five Oaks Press, 2016)

From the very outset of Peter E. Murphy’s The Last Pub on Earth – billed as “the story of the afterlife and times of the unfortunate Garry Morgan,” an alter ego created by the poet – it’s clear that this collection of poems is an unusual (and unusually intricate) portrait of a drinker adrift in the self-pity that will eventually prompt his recovery. Read more in The Literary Review. . .

 

 

Rome by Dorothea Lasky

review by Lynn Marie Houston

(Liveright, 2014)

(Liveright, 2014)

It has become fashionable in the literary world to add zombies to a work of art in order to gain mainstream attention. I cannot say if the “mainstream” crowd attended the book launch for Dorothea Lasky’s Rome (Liveright, 2014), but it certainly was well attended. I was there at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery the night of September 18th to get my hands on a copy of her latest book of poems. But Lasky doesn’t need to add zombies to her poetry; it already strides powerfully back and forth between the lands of the living and the dead. Continue reading