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NewPages Book Reviews

Posted January 6, 2009

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  • Book Type Edited
  • by William Pratt
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-097281438
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
It was during the decade of the First World War, 1910-1920, that the Imagist poem came to fruition. Imagist poetry was part of the literary revolt in the United States and England against the staid and formal techniques of the nineteenth century. William Pratt, in the introduction to his indispensable anthology The Imagist Poem – Modern Poetry in Miniature, quotes Imagist poet F.S. Flint’s three rules by which the Imagist poem exists:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Margaret Christakos
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-55245-204-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
Reading Margaret Christakos’s poetry on the page is like reading sheet music. You don’t get the full effect until you hear it. And when you do hear it, when you read it aloud to yourself, you realize that the music is wildly experimental and takes some participation. Christakos, in What Stirs, challenges you to meet her halfway. There’s nothing passive about these poems.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Bragi Ólafsson
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934824-01-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 157pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Sean Lovelace
Everything I know about Iceland could fit into a shoebox: two Björk CDs, a six of Viking beer, a tin of cured ram scrota (a gag gift by one of my “friends”). But I do find the unique and au courant alluring, and my ventures into the unknown often prove worthwhile or at worst innocuous (the only extreme exceptions being Riverdance and Robo-Tripping – I seriously advise you to lay off both, no matter what the cool kids say.)
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Dirk Stratton
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9788407-7-8
  • Format Chapbook
  • Pages 40pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Joseph P. Wood
Dirk Stratton’s new chapbook of poems, A Series/A Sequence, is a throwback of sorts. In an age where E-Books and particularly E-Chaps are abundant due to the explosion of the blogosphere and readily available publishing software, Stratton’s chap is handmade and released in a very limited run. The book is constructed “old-school”: side stapled, stock cover, paper one could find at a neighborhood Kinkos. Rather than seeming fly-by-night and hurried, however, A Series/A Sequence is lovingly made, with beautiful embossed imprints on each cover – notice I do not say the “front” and “back” of the book. A Series/A Sequence is actually two separate suites of poems that are thematically and aesthetically linked. Hold the book one way, one can read through “Capitulation Suite,” which constitutes the Series part of the chap. Flip the book over and one discovers another suite of lyrical, borderline-concrete poems entitled “Laiku,” which makes up the Sequence. In constructing the chap in this manner, NeO Pepper has joined a growing movement of grassroots to make poetry books that are pieces of art as opposed to mass-produced commodity. The pleasures of A Series/A Sequence rest in its construction as much its poetry, though one feels inextricable from the other.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jean Ross Justice
  • Date Published December 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1597320481
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
With the stories of Jean Ross Justice, it is moments and images you come away with, details that stay with you long after the stories as a whole have faded.
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