Sarah Richards Graba reviews 100 Chinese Silences by Timothy Yu

Join Timothy Yu (100 Chinese Silences) and Mike Hauser (Red and White Balloons) on June 2, 2016 at 7 PM for a FREE Book Release Reading at Woodland Pattern. More Information Here.

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100 Chinese Silences
Timothy Yu
Les Figues Press, 2016
$17

I read 100 Chinese Silences out loud.

When I settled in the read Timothy Yu’s first full-length book of poetry, it was raining, I was alone, and I didn’t turn on background music. I read the first ten Chinese silences in, well, silence. Then I realized I didn’t want to do that; I didn’t want to read this particular book in particular that way. So I started over and began reading them aloud, to myself, one by one, in my empty home, surrounded by steely sky. Continue reading

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Dorothy Chan reviews RESTLESS CONTINENT by Aja Couchois Duncan

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Restless Continent
Aja Couchois Duncan

Litmus Press, May 2016
$15

Aja Couchois Duncan’s Restless Continent is a collection that simply works well as a collection. Duncan’s section by section progression is skillful—in it, we get the presentation of a “restless continent” that starts out in a broad sense and gradually becomes more inclusive of the author. The poet explores environmental and ecological issues while inserting herself and her heritage into this big picture. Duncan’s authorial interjection is crucial; and of course, her Ojibwe roots play a big role in this. By doing this, the poet answers the question of “What is my relationship to the state of our earth?” With its ecological questions, mixture of forms, glossary and poetry of Ojibwe terms, and beautiful prose poems that truly culminate the work, Duncan’s Restless Continent is a must-read. Continue reading

Sandra Cohen Margulius reviews HELLO STEPHEN by Stephen Roger Powers

This review was originally published in the museum of americana (issue 4).

hello-stephenStephen Roger Powers, a poet/writer hailing from the state of Wisconsin, earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and now teaches at Gordon State College in Georgia. He has been published in Shenandoah magazine, Poets on the Promise of America (University of Iowa Press), and has received two Pushcart Prize nominations for his fiction and poetry.  He began his first full length book, The Follower’s Tale, published by Salmon Poetry in 2009, while still working on his PhD.  First called, “Chasing Dolly,” the name was changed upon publication.  The Follower’s Tale is a collection of bluegrass inspired lyric and narrative poems inspired by his muse, singer/actress, Dolly Parton.  Powers’ newest collection of poetry to be published in the summer of 2014 by Salmon Poetry, Hello, Stephen, continues this journey down the road to Dollywood, again using Parton as his muse.

With poems that weave Dolly in and out of the speaker’s life and adventures, Hello, Stephen constantly surprises the reader with its sense of humor, colorful detailed imagery, pop-culture references, and impressive narrative storytelling.  It is a type of work that provides something for every poetry reader from novice to the well-read.  Continue reading