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NewPages Book Reviews

Reviews of newly published and forthcoming independent press and university press titles.

Posted October 08, 2018

  • Subtitle Alaska Homestead Poems
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Linda Schandelmeier
  • Date Published September 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60223-360-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 90pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Valerie Wieland

“I carry my history stitched into my skin.” This line from Linda Schandelmeier’s poem, “Leaving for the University,” perfectly evokes the contents of her second book, Coming out of Nowhere.

But let’s back up a bit. Before university, Schandelmeier grew up in a frame cabin on a 160-acre homestead south of Anchorage around the time that Alaska became a state. In her preface, she characterizes these part-autobiographical, part-historical works as: “These poems sometimes take a circuitous route in order to arrive at a deeper truth.”

  • Subtitle Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Jeffrey J. Kripal
  • Date Published March 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-1-942658-52-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 240pp
  • Price $19.99
  • Review by Cody Lee

According to Jeffrey J. Kripal, the “flip” is “that moment of realization beyond all linear thought, beyond all language, beyond all belief.” The Flip introduces scientists, philosophers, and average-joes that have undergone some sort of “flip,” some “new real” that took them from point A to B—B typically being a state of consciousness, one in which it is blatantly clear that we are nothing more than stardust, and there are powers at work that we may never comprehend.

  • Image Image
  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Dorothea Lasky
  • Date Published April 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-940696-64-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 141pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Kimberly Ann Priest
Save your congratulations and your flowers
My baby is sunbathing on the moon
And with the eternal blue light she glows
In her clear house, with shutters
Save your kind regards, and visits
With doughnuts and kisses
Save your little nothings that amount to nothing
Save it save it
Purple green and christened blue
—from “Save Your Flowers”

Why do I love this?! Why do I read this book and just love, love, love it?!

Because we’ve all been there, suspended metaphorically or actually between life and death, damage and grief, birth and birthing, these spaces of WTF? where we desperately want to name the space and experience for the shitty, icky, unnameable thing it really is. That liminal emotional edge where, yeah, this agony might be transformed into something beautiful someday but please don’t name it that!

  • Subtitle Seeing Nature in the Everyday
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Julia Corbett
  • Date Published September 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-1-943859-87-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 232pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Vivian Wagner

Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday is a collection of essays by Julia Corbett that examines the false dichotomies between humans and nature, culture and wilderness. To break down these divisions, Corbett, a professor in the Department of Communication and the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah, looks closely at “everyday nature”—the animals, plants, and objects in and around the cities and suburbs of America.

  • Subtitle Writers Play with Borrowed Forms
  • Image Image
  • Book Type Anthology Edited
  • by Kim Adrian
  • Date Published April 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8032-9676-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 304pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Cody Lee

If you are looking for a book that fits into the genre of “Creative Nonfiction,” especially as an introduction, your best bet is to pick up The Shell Game immediately, edited by writer Kim Adrian. It is an anthology of lyric essays that range from crossword puzzles about becoming a grandmother, to eBay ads for the writer himself (0 bids, Price = $9.95).

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