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Book Reviews by Title - D (78)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Matthew Rohrer
  • Date Published March 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933517-50-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 73pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Michael Flatt
If you’re like me, the title Destroyer and Preserver will make you expect a speaker who finds himself filling both roles at once, somehow. You’ll long to embrace the conflict of some tragic irony. You’ll look forward to witnessing small, tender moments nestling together in the shadow of something supremely horrible.
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Carol Guess
  • Date Published November 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936767-01-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Jodi Paloni
The old adage, good things come in small packages, rolls off the tongue easily during times when economy is in fashion: smaller cars, tighter budgets, and fuel-efficient homes. Lately, the scarcity I feel regards time. So when a batch of uncorrected proofs of lyrical shorts arrived in the mail, I thrilled at the brevity of their roughly 7 x 5 inch shape, the ample white space on the pages, and the thin way they slid into my purse, at the ready for checkout lines, dentist chairs, and half-hour lunch breaks. This month, I’ve come to understand that good writing comes in small packages, and that a mere few lines can pack a potent narrative punch.
  • Subtitle Do You Live in a Vacuum?
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Nin Andrews
  • Date Published January 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0980109825
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 56pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Brian Foley
Derived from emails, comments, and notes sent by students to her husband who is a physics professor, with Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum, Nin Andrews has collected a series of short epistolary poems with mixed results.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Michael McGriff
  • Date Published October 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0822960072
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Roy Wang
Don’t read the back cover; Dismantling the Hills is not a love song to forests alive with work crews. It is an elegy for the soul-crushing life in the logging countries of Oregon, highlighted and made ironic against the background of a majestic Nature that should not only have been benign, but inspirational.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Jonathan Baumbach
  • Date Published May 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9827975-3-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Sara C. Rauch
Dreams of Molly is a slim, somewhat befuddling novel. Narrated by a man (an “impatient” writer) who “dreams” constantly of his ex-wife (the Molly of the title), each night/chapter finds him in strange and complex situations, all circling around her mirage. Each chapter ends abruptly, as if being pulled out of a dream, and so the novel is elliptical, chasing and never finding either Molly or any sense of stability. Baumbach is a word magician; he expertly builds suspense very quickly, though like most dreams, he rarely concludes or fulfills in any expected manner.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Matt Baker
  • Date Published July 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9789808-9-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 212pp
  • Price $10.00
  • Review by Keith Meatto
Odom Shiloh is not the most successful or ambitious guy. He’s pushing 40, his second marriage is on the rocks, and he works as an Assistant to the Assistant Coach for a miserable high school football team. And life only gets worse when Odom runs over a French bicyclist and, inexplicably, flees the scene of the crime.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Rick Campbell
  • Date Published 2008
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 85pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Michael Hettich
Rick Campbell is a friend of mine, someone whose capacious heart and mind have served me as a touchstone of the genuine for over a decade. As director of Anhinga Press, as well as founder and director of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition (FLAC), Rick has performed immense and selfless service for poetry both in Florida and nationwide. For years he has advocated for good poetry, worked to make poetry a larger presence in our culture, and supported the work of his fellow poets. His work promoting other people’s writing has been so significant, in fact, that his own fine poetry, while not exactly overlooked, has garnered less attention than it deserves. His new book, Dixmont, outshines his previous collections by a long shot; it is a powerful, honest, finely-crafted book of emotionally-honed poems whose cumulative effect is simultaneously harrowing and life-affirming. Quite simply, Dixmont is the real thing, a genuine contribution to our poetry.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Howard Mansfield
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-87233-167-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 238pp
  • Price $22.50
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
It’s hard to imagine a trope of Americana more ingrained in the public conscientiousness than purposeful living in New England. In Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter, Howard Mansfield takes Thoreau’s call to “live deliberately” as a demand to examine the nature of shelter and the circumstances that create a home. These themes, he argues, are how people can engage with their culture and how they live in their spaces. Dwelling in Possibility, one could say, is Mansfield’s answer to “putting to rout all that is not life” (Walden-Pond-style) by calling direct and specific attention to what he sees as humanity’s un-purposeful living in their dwellings.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by David Trinidad
  • Date Published September 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933527-47-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 493pp
  • Price $19.00
  • Review by H. V. Cramond
Dear Prudence: New & Selected Poems, the latest work by poet and Columbia College Chicago professor David Trinidad, collects new poems and selections from over a thirty-year publishing history, including most recently By Myself (with D.A. Powell, 2009), Tiny Moon Notebook (2007), and The Late Show (2007). In 2000, he was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his collection Plasticville. The scope of Dear Prudence allows readers unfamiliar with Trinidad’s work a thorough introduction; those familiar with his work will find an indispensable exploration of the poet’s task of collecting, arranging and remembering.
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  • Book Type Stories
  • by Samuel Ligon
  • Date Published March 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1932870299
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 180pp
  • Price $17.95
  • Review by Ryan Call
Drift and Swerve, Samuel Ligon’s second book and winner of the 2008 Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, takes its title from the second piece in the collection, a road trip story about a family traveling behind a drunk driver as they return home after visiting their dying grandmother. While the family bickers, the drunk driver grows more erratic, weaving across the road, first lazily and then desperately, before wrecking the car into an enormous concrete ditch. Each family member reacts differently to the nearly fatal accident: the mother cradles the injured drunk’s head against her body to comfort him; the father weakly stands to the side with a blanket, pretending to offer help; and the children, disappointed because the man is not dead, go sliding through the mud “as if it were winter and the drainage ditch a frozen over river.”
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