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Book Reviews by Title - G (47)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Montana Ray
  • Date Published May 2015
  • ISBN-13 978­-1-­938247­-16­-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 55pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Benjamin Champagne
If you Google search Montana Ray, there is a good chance you will find a (guns and butter) shower curtain. This lends to the understanding of concrete poems and their relationship to the modern dialogue in poetry. Concrete poems, or shape poems/visual poems can be considered the bastard child of literature. An exercise in class that only the nerdy kids take seriously. A fun exercise that is just that: an exercise. However, in subverting this notion, Montana Ray finds the means to exalt the depraved and to tyrannize the tyrannical.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Juan Villoro
  • Date Published June 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-80760-013-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 140pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Trena Machado
The Guilty by Juan Villoro is the only book of fiction translated into English by this Mexican writer of short stories, novels, plays, essays, and screen scripts. He has been given the Herralde Award in Spain, the Anton Artaud award in France and short-listed for the Reezzori Prize in Italy. In this book of short stories, the individual is in the new global world order, navigating the culture of signs, copies, media, and signifiers of commercial production. Each story is told from a first person point of view, but the “I” does not belong to a specific character with a name, the “I” a transient “I” living in the world through image-manufactured phenomena.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Peter Grandbois
  • Date Published March 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-1-877655-86-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 146pp
  • Price $12.00
  • Review by Nate Zachar
“The Girl on the Swing,” the first novella of this two-story collection by Peter Grandbois, fittingly opens with a Kafka quote, because this is very much a story of metamorphosis. Not only does “the girl,” timid but precocious twelve-year-old Isabel, undergo a dramatic physical transformation, but so do the other three members of her family: her mother, father, and her brother, each in their own unsettling way. Isabel’s dramatic and quite gruesome transformation triggers a domino effect throughout the family; the panic caused by her transformation highlights her family’s dysfunction, which soon snowballs into a full-blown collapse.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by TC Tolbert
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-934103-52-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Trena Machado
In Gephyromania, which means the love of building bridges, we are given a “subtextual consciousness of queer” per the author, TC Tolbert, who is a genderqueer feminist poet and teacher. S/he is co-editor for The Feminist Wire and a curator for Trickhouse, an online cross-genre arts journal. Tolbert also founded Made for Flight, a youth empowerment program using writing and kite building, commemorating murdered transgender people, to bring awareness about homophobia and transphobia.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Kimberly Burwick
  • Date Published December 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9895611-4-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 63pp
  • Price $13.00
  • Review by Kimberly Ann
Every line, phrase, and syllable of Kimberly Burwick’s Good Night Brother is thick with a language that perhaps only angels know. As I read these dense, imagistic lines, I recall the charismatic churches of my youth when, at Sunday morning worship, any number of individuals might erupt into an otherworldly song in “tongues,” coming from the spirit within. Perhaps Burwick has such a spirit—a poetic spirit that transforms “milkweed,” “geese,” “pheasants,” “berries,” “roads,” and “flies” into abstractions, the reader reveling in the feel of this strange language passing over the pores of the page.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by William Logan
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-231-16686-7
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 328pp
  • Price $35.00
  • Review by Patrick James Dunagan
William Logan's poetry reviews found in Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure don't mince words. Never drab, his criticism will entertain and never bore. It doesn't much matter whether readers agree or disagree with his judgments, as he generally delivers them with enough original panache to readily amuse all the same. He doesn't quite reach far enough out from the borders of the poetry world to be of interest to those readers unfamiliar with poetry-at-large, but anyone with a decent background in the field, whether reading for a degree or for pleasure, will be quite well acquainted enough to follow along.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Jeffrey Bean
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9883101-9-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 32pp
  • Price $6.00
  • Review by Brian McKenna
Four lines into the opening poem “The Bread” from Jeffrey Bean’s award-winning new chapbook Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, the speaker recounts the defining experience of his life: sitting down at a restaurant table with a girl. Doling out description with subtle music that captures the slowly evolving intimacy of the situation, the stanza quite literally sets the table for the flash of love’s bittersweet onset that occurs in the stanza’s final line. While the straightforward description of the scene details the outward circumstance of the meeting, the allusion to Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “God’s Grandeur” captures the true scope of the meeting’s importance:

The bread, the salad, simple, oiled.
The coats on hooks, exhaling winter smoke.
The hand that was mine, the knuckles, the table, smooth oak.
The girl I’d come to meet, the sky behind her hair, shook foil.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Takashi Hiraide
  • Translated From Japanese
  • by Eric Selland
  • Date Published January 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8112-2150-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat is nothing like the usual cat book. Takashi Hiraide is an acclaimed poet in Japan, and this novel resembles a poem, recreating the immense world in small images, opening up to life with love and loss. It’s short like a poem, but though nostalgic and moving, it is not sentimental. The end of The Guest Cat indicates this novel evolved as a reshaping of a collection of essays and journal notes about the narrator and his wife’s relationship with a neighborhood cat Chibi, meaning “little one” in Japanese. This is a quiet, reflective, even philosophical book, which can appeal to more than cat lovers, since it is about how a relationship can change a person, how a communal animal can make one question who owns the animal, and how loss can reveal not just grief but resentment. By the end of The Guest Cat, the narrator notices and loves more, even extending his love to a house he doesn’t own.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by David Philip Mullins
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-932511-88-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 184pp
  • Price $15.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
These linked stories of Nick Danze’s sexual experiences, though self-contained, are arranged chronologically from the age of fourteen through his adult years, and therefore read like a novel.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Bruce Covey
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-0-98260000-1-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 142pp
  • Price $16.99
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
These are poems that will launch you “Into the air & land, two feet before / Every syntactical permutation (green).” Covey’s syntactical permutations are designed to “keep you teetering / on the edge,” considering the “hollowed out dictionary” of our lives and the “unexpected rivalry between east and west” (that constitute “Meaning”). His permutations extend to card shuffling (“the fewer of spades,” “the thigh of hearts”); a restaurant meal (“A lobster targets your toe”); a “declaration” with alphabetical aspirations (“all all are ask bad be bring cease comes day date drive / earth end faith felt few give give grave groups hints hopes is”); and a truck accident (“Forcing a spin, what direction”).
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