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Book Reviews by Title - B (121)

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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Anne Waldman, Laura Wright
  • Date Published June 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1566892278
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 234pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
In a 1948 conversation with John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac said, “Ah, this is nothing but a beat generation.” The phrase, like Gertrude Stein’s “lost generation,” soon became emblematic of its time, though not all of its adherents approve of the label (Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Gary Snyder are just three of its detractors). What most of the “Beats” found in Beats at Naropa have in common is their connection with Kerouac himself. The book contains mostly transcripts of speeches and conversations held at what is now called Naropa University but what was originally known as the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a compulsively readable volume, full of facts and opinions.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Jim Daniels
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1-938160-16-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Kelly M. Sylvester
A poet of the working-class and city streets, Jim Daniels’s fourteenth poetry collection travels from Detroit to Ohio to Pittsburgh, from one post-industrial city to another, across jobs and generations. Daniels focuses on the urban landscape and its effects on its inhabitants as they struggle to establish community on streets hissing with distrust and random violence.
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  • Book Type Edited by
  • by Steve Almond, Nathan Leslie
  • Date Published July 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0979312342
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 353pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Ryan Call
At the heart of Dzanc Books’ anthology Best of the Web 2008 sits a quiet essay titled “Thirst and the Writer’s Sense of Consequence” by David Bottoms. In the essay, originally published in the Kennesaw Review, Bottoms takes for his starting point Walt Whitman’s poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” the language of which inspires him to explore “the whole question of artistic sensibility, more specifically, the sensibility that gives impulse to poetry and literary fiction.” Although it is a change of pace from the poetry and prose of the surrounding pages, for example, Christina Kallery’s poem “Swan Falls in Love with Swan-Shaped Boat” and R.T. Smith’s story “What I Omitted from the Official Personnel Services Report,” the essay gives the anthology a solid center from which the other pieces might develop.
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  • Book Type Novella
  • by Hesh Kestin
  • Date Published September, 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0979312359
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 182pp
  • Price $13.95
  • Review by Laura Di Giovine
In Hesh Kestin’s Based on a True Story, three novellas set during the World War II era take readers on a journey from East Africa to the South Seas to Hollywood. A former foreign correspondent, Kestin peppers his tales with exotic plots and resilient characters.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Steve Himmer
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9845105-8-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 222pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Aaron M. Smith
The Bee-Loud Glade will make you fall in love with the simplicity of nature. It is a story about returning and integrating one’s self into nature—true Walden style. The ability of Steve Himmer to create a longing for nature via the words and storyline in this story is phenomenal. I, personally, have never felt a calling or inclination towards nature. After reading this novel, I feel like becoming a hermit and simply reveling in the beauty of nature would be an amazing life.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Kate Colby
  • Date Published December 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933959-11-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 120pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Angela Veronica Wong
Kate Colby’s Beauport is both a book-length poem and a collection of poems; it is a semi-narrative, part-memoir, part-lyric essay, part-historical exploration, part-imagined conversation work which wraps history with history. “History is spreading,” Colby states, toward the beginning of the collection. But whose history? Beauport is about layering histories: the story of Henry Davis Sleeper, the American antiquarian and decorator, whose house is named Beauport, the harbor along with an exploration of Colby’s own connections to Massachusetts and Gloucester, and the history of Beauport, the house itself.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Dana Elkun
  • Date Published December 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-09797137-3-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 20pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Noel Sloboda
Winner of the 2008 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition, Dana Elkun’s Black Box Theater as Abandoned Zoo offers a guided tour of a rich, imagined landscape. The cover of the volume features a pair of monkeys, perched on a bed, releasing butterfly silhouettes into the air. Underneath the enigmatic cover art, 15 sophisticated yet accessible poems treat topics as varied as marriage, medicine, and history.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by kari edwards
  • Date Published September 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9819310-0-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 116pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Catherine Daly
kari edwards’s last book, Bharat jiva, was published posthumously. The book represents a leap in style, control and application of language, and scope of address and content over hir earlier works, disobedience, iduna, and a day in the life of p. For example, whereas obedience continually lists and refines those lists, working from inclusion and exhaustion, Bharat jiva has a huge scope, a generous posing of questions against lists.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Brandi Homan
  • Date Published January 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1848610859
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 74pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Kristin Abraham
The poems in Bobcat Country sling readers into a humorous yet serious exposition of American culture that mocks relationships between American capitalism and pop culture, the American family, and the “business” of contemporary poetry.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, Pamela Mittlefehlde
  • Date Published June 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0977945894
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 265pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
Beloved on the Earth is a timeless anthology, a meditation on “our capacity for wonder and for grief” (“Reconsidering the Enlightenment” by Donna J. Long). The Gratitude of the subtitle isn’t really necessary. This is an elegy, a mourning, a wail for the dying and the dead. Some poets are familiar, some aren’t. Some poems take pages, and some, like Larry Schug’s “Bearing,” barely seven lines:
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