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Book Reviews by Title - L (89)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Arleen Paré
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-926829-87-6
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 83pp
  • Price $20.00
  • Review by Andrea Dulberger
What is this life all about? That type of philosophical query may seem an unlikely undercurrent to a book of poems ostensibly focused on a writer’s experience of a specific place. Yet, when read as a whole, the direct, lyrical poems in Arleen Paré’s Lake of Two Mountains, weave a wide web of overlapping stories and impressions that casts a deep sense of wonder on the nature of particularity.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by William Heyen
  • Date Published June 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1453608005
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 110pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Tanya Angell Allen
William Heyen’s Lord Dragonfly was first published in 1981 by Vanguard Press, but most of the copies of its paperback edition disappeared shortly after Vanguard sold to Random House. Although three of the books’ sequences have since been republished elsewhere, now all five are together in a 2010 edition by H_NGM_N BKS. The re-issue contains minor editing by Heyen, plus a glowing appreciation by Nate Pritts—the chief editor of the press and Heyen’s former student. There’s also an essay by Matthew Henricksen which maintains that Heyen’s “personal vocabulary of deep imagery becoming peak language…seems to have predicted the direction many young poets are taking today.”
  • Subtitle A Novel of Fate
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Janice Eidus
  • Date Published October 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-393-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 147pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Patricia Contino
Fashion student Lillith Zeremba wants to be noticed. She also strives to be the total opposite of her mother Beth, a famous feminist professor. This good Jewish girl and sworn virgin from the Upper West Side gets more than she wished for when she walks into the “ageless” sunglass-wearing Baron Rock’s classroom in Janice Eidus’s The Last Jewish Virgin: A Novel of Fate, an entertaining, original, and psychologically creepy variation of immortal love…for while Lillith suspects it, readers know right away that Baron is a vampire.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Tony Gloeggler
  • Date Published June 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-935520-15-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 140pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Kimberly Steele
Tony Gloeggler’s latest poetry book, The Last Lie, celebrates imperfection in all its ubiquitous manifestations – in people, relationships, memories, and dreams. It is about the lies we tell ourselves when we discover that the truth is insufficient, and the tools we use to renounce those fabrications that distract us from recognizing beauty in imperfection and experiencing fulfillment from that which seems lacking at first glance.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Rob Schlegel
  • Date Published December 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-885635-12-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 54pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Matt McBride
Rob Schlegel’s debut collection of poems, The Lesser Fields, winner of the 2009 Colorado Poetry Prize, creates a kind of rarefaction through decay. As Schlegel states, “I breathe away the parts of myself I no longer require.” The titles of the three sequences which comprise the book, “The Lesser Fields,” “November Deaths,” and “Lives,” seem to underscore this theme. Indeed, the collection itself feels rarified, taking up a miserly fifty-four pages, including notes and acknowledgements.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Peter Geye
  • Date Published October 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60953-084-6
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 294pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
With its depiction of wintry weather along the shores of Lake Superior and even a view of Isle Royale, Michiganders (and Wisconsinites) will relate to Peter Geye’s novel The Lighthouse Road even though its setting is Northern Minnesota. Geye is a native of Duluth, and some of the novel’s action takes place there, but mostly it alternates between 1895-96 and 1910-37 in the lakeside town of Gunflint, near a logging camp called Burnt Wood Camp.
  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Kelcey Parker
  • Date Published October 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9887645-3-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 208pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Courtney McDermott
“Each material has its own message and, to the creative artist, its own song. Listening, [s]he may learn to make the two sing together.” Frank Lloyd Wright knew the art of crafting a structure that complements the space it inhabits. And as he suggests, artists must make music from the intersection of materials and messages. Like Frank Lloyd Wright’s infamous Fallingwater (the setting for this book), Liliane’s Balcony is an architectural treat.  Form and content are married perfectly in Kelcey Parker’s novella. Even the font and structure of the book were intentionally engineered. The font is influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and the time period in which he created Fallingwater, and each symbol beneath the chapter’s heading is taken from Wright’s own Prairie-style geometric patterns. The various narratives speaking throughout the novella operate like the various cantilevers and balconies of Fallingwater, allowing the reader to step out into a new narrative, but always ducking back inside to the narrative of Liliane.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Niki Herd
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59948-267-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 62pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Alyse Bensel
A painfully articulate and driven first collection, The Language of Shedding Skin employs the powerful force of words to speak about struggles with race and gender. Niki Herd, a Cave Canem fellow, follows in a tradition that engages with lyric and rhythmic language, using song as a guiding principle. In poems that freely range in form yet always possess an emotional depth, this compact debut collection will captivate with its spirited language.
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  • Book Type Edited
  • by Kevin Haworth, Dinty W. Moore
  • Date Published March 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8214-1948-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 206pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
This anthology brings together presentations given over the last several years at Ohio University’s Spring Literary Festival, which is described by the editors in the book’s introduction as “a remarkable yearly gathering of some of the nation’s most talented and celebrated writers…in the most rural corner of Ohio.” Fifteen of these celebrated fiction writers and poets appear in the publication, to be released in March 2011: Ron Carlson, Robin Hemley, Francine Prose, Billy Collins, Peter Ho Davies, Charles Baxter, David Kirby, Claire Bateman, Stephen Dunn, Lee K. Abbott, Tony Hoagland, Maggie Nelson, Carl Dennis, Rick Bass, and Mary Ruefle. Each writer focuses on a clearly identified, often narrowly defined topic of interest to readers and writers, typically with the twin goals of helping readers understand the writer’s personal approach to composing his or her work and to an idea of some “universal” importance for reading/writing in general.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Srečko Kosovel
  • Translated From Slovene
  • by Ana Jelnikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson
  • Date Published April 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933254-54-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 256pp
  • Price $17.00
  • Review by Larry O. Dean
This selected edition of Srečko Kosovel's poems, translated from the Slovene by Ana Jelnikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson, is a welcome addition to the developing canon of Slovenian poetry, but more so, it's an obvious labor of love by both translators as well as publisher. The book is perfect-bound in a simple but eye-catching jacket from Ugly Duckling, with interior text provided in the poet's native language as well as English on facing pages. Additionally, there are poems reprinted in Kosovel's own handwriting, in part to offer a graphological glimpse into the author's character, but also to promote documenting him as a pioneering yet playful manipulator of language.
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