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

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Peter Burzynski reviews COMPANION ANIMAL by Magdalena Zurawski

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Litmus Press, 2015

 

Magdalena Zurawski’s Companion Animal is a book of poetry that asserts itself with the various boundaries of open forms. She bookends the contents of her book with lyric essays that not only bind her vision of poetry, but also embrace the power of language. In addition, these poetic essays are the poet’s own affirmation of her need to write poetry. The essays shape this book’s theories on poetics are interesting explorations of the self-imposed rules and boundaries of poetry that sometimes stifle the creative energy and intellectual potential for exploration. Zurawski examines these rules and then proceeds to break them. Continue reading