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NewPages Book Reviews

Posted February 02, 2015

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Marie Slaight
  • Date Published June 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9806447-0-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 104pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Ancient wound. Politicians, monarchs, and religious fanatics still use this phrase to justify vengeance. Its literary applications are no less tragic. To give a Pulitzer and Nobel winning example, Eugene O’Neill knew how to channel that fury and apply it to his highly ordered dysfunctional universe.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Alexandria Peary
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60938-245-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 98pp
  • Price $19.00
  • Review by Katie Rensch
What do a grass skirt, refrigerator, buttons, bones of a dairy cow, magnets, an old cake mix, and a spider all have in common? All, somehow impressively, appear in the first poem of Control Bird Alt Delete, a collection of poetry by Alexandria Peary. In it, Peary deconstructs our worlds and examines our environment from the perspective of deletion. If we destroy our natural resources to make products that will never deteriorate, what will exist of our world? Peary offers a world with unicorn rainbow stickers and fake lilacs.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Jena Osman
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936194-17-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Elizabeth O'Brien
Corporate Relations opens with a series of broken analogies that illustrate the ridiculousness of the idea of corporate personhood. Even from the first section, “The Beautiful Life of Persona Ficta,” Jena Osman makes this ridiculousness plain: “it is a nightmare that Congress endorsed. mega-corporation as human group, the realm of hypothesis.”
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  • Book Type Cross-Genre
  • by Alex Green
  • Date Published January 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936767-37-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 84pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Jason Hess
Alex Green's collection of short prose is aptly titled Emergency Anthems. Brooklyn Arts Press wisely bills the book as a collection of “Short Fiction/Prose Poems,” leaving elbow-patched professor types to duke it out over finer genre distinctions. Alas, I regularly cling to genre like it's a life-raft in wild waters. The stories/poems are presented as block paragraphs with justified left and right margins. The majority of these shorts don't feature any traditional narrative arc, no building and releasing of tension. Without the floatation device of genre, the word “Anthem” feels like an appropriate designation for Green's short bursts of prose.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Annelyse Gelman
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-938912-42-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Katy Haas
The poetry in Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone by Annelyse Gelman is witty, comfortable, and contemporary. Nothing too heavy waits inside the bright blue cover, and even the heavier moments are lightened by Gelman’s sly humor, a welcome presence throughout the poems.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Kerrin McCadden
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936970-26-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 84pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Katie Rensch
Lyrical, honest, descriptive, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes by Kerrin McCadden is a thoughtful meditation on wandering through a human landscape, one full of loss and desire. Often elegiac, this collection of poetry accepts the world before it, acknowledging the quotidian value of our lives while also seeing the beauty in it.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Andrea Scarpino
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1597099745
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Katie Rensch
Once, Then by Andrea Scarpino is a collection of elegies that are caught in the tension of two worlds, the scientific and the spiritual. In attempting to understand the aftermath of loss, Scarpino turns to form, and her lyrical, shortly-woven lines sing. The collection often features the profiles of people, those closest to Scarpino, and also mythic figures such as Persephone and Achilles. What results is a poet deeply engaged with the world.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Abigail Cloud
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8071-5693-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Ryo Yamaguchi
The poems in Sylph, Abigail Cloud’s debut collection, are comprised of multiple balancing acts. They are graceful, self-assured poems, beautifully executed with a tightly focused imagistic sensibility. But they are also searching, inquisitive poems—their arrivals are real-time events, self-discoveries. They have an airy quality, as the title of the collection would suggest (there are “wings” everywhere), yet are also deeply rooted in the material world. They are as at-home in myth and the spirit world, or the haunting voices in archives, as they are in the garden and in the home.
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