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Book Reviews by Title - S (144)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Murray Shugars
  • Date Published April 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933675-57-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 63pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Kevin Brown
Murray Shugars’s collection of poems, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, is clearly divided into three sections with distinct differences in approaches to the craft. The first section, which gives the book its title, is the strongest of the three, as Shugars creates a distinct world in this section. These poems are much more narrative than the other two sections and draw mostly on his childhood, though the speaker of the poems moves into adulthood in the poems about war.
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  • Translated From Chinese
  • by Kenneth Rexroth
  • Date Published April 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0811218368
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $12.95
  • Review by Vince Corvaia
This collection of Chinese poems, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and selected by Eliot Weinberger, is review-proof. These poems have endured centuries and still stand as models of economy and beauty. All a reviewer can do is offer excerpts from some of the most memorable of them.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Megan Volpert
  • Date Published December 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-937420-04-8
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 62pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Gina Myers
The prose pieces in Megan Volpert’s new collection of poetry, Sonics in Warholia, read more like essays, but defining or discussing the boundaries of different genres serves no purpose and would completely miss the mark of this stunning collection. Comprised of eight pieces, the book offers extended meditations, both far-reaching and deeply personal, surrounding the biography of (and addressed to the ghost of) Andy Warhol. Throughout the book, Volpert masterfully weaves together seemingly disparate images, events, and ideas to brilliantly create complete and coherent essays that can appeal to both those who are familiar and those who are unfamiliar with Warhol’s life and work. Volpert’s vision is clever, touching, and singular.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Kathrin Schaeppi
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9825731-5-0
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 155pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
Sonja Sekula (1918-1963) was a Swiss “poète-peintre” (poet-painter) who lived for a time in New York, was a colleague and friend of better known artists of her time (Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, John Cage, Leonora Carrington, Max Ernst), experimented with “blended poetic word combinations” in her visual work, and spent much time “in and out of clinics” because, Schaeppi explains in her book’s epilogue, “her many secret art books and diaries tell of her passion for women in a time when same-sex love was considered a pathology to be cured with extreme treatments.”
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Camille Martin
  • Date Published February 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1848610705
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 108pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Carol Dorf
Can you pour new wine into old bottles? Well, if you are Camille Martin and the bottles are sonnets, the answer is an emphatic, "Yes." By her flexible use of the idea of the sonnet, Camille Martin has written a book that holds a pleasing balance of unity and variation. In the second sonnet, Martin seems to be speaking to the form as the beloved:
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Date Published April 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8061-5226-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 224pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by David Morgan O'Connor
“We live for a brief moment en este valle de lágrimas”

Maybe that’s why there is no resolution in my letters. There is no hero announcing at the end that good will triumph over evil [ . . . ] If my letters were a plea for sanity, then writing them was worthwhile [ . . . ] Remember, the observer of any artistic work changes the work, and in turn is changed by it.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Noelle Kocot
  • Date Published October 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1933517742
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Kelly M. Sylvester
Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot challenges its readers. Within the first few poems, I recognized Kocot wasn’t going to provide footholds to guide me through her words of whimsy, which hint and glimpse at an uncharted world. I fought for meaning and felt lost in space; I surrendered to the experience, and suddenly Kocot’s vividity sang from the pages.
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  • Book Type Novel
  • by Curtis Smith
  • Date Published September 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1934081044
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 164pp
  • Price $13.50
  • Review by Matt Bell
Told in chapters which alternate viewpoints between its dual protagonists, the plot of Curtis Smith's Sound + Noise is quieter than its title suggests – it is less the thrashing of a building cacophony than it is the last gentle notes of a favorite ballad. Tom and Jackie are both people with heavy pasts, the kind that refuse to let them move forward with their lives as fully as they might like until, little by little, they help each other to start again. Tom's past is personified in the comatose person of his wife Karen, while Jackie's is tied up in the past life she led as a backup singer for a famous country band. For each of them, part of what makes their pasts so daunting to overcome is that they love the lives they once led – Tom loves his wife, but from the very beginning it is obvious that she's never going to awaken from her coma. Similarly, Jackie looks backwards from her new life as the owner of a local bar where she sings once a week, often covering the very band she was once a member of.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Ellen Airgood
  • Date Published June 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59448-793-4
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 384pp
  • Price $25.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Ellen Airgood’s debut novel South of Superior is categorized first under “self-realization in women” and secondly under “Michigan Fiction.” Such categories never tell the full story. Certainly there is a female main character, but she is for much of the book unsympathetic and certainly not a superwoman, and the novel’s delight is in the realism of all the vividly portrayed characters and of Michigan life in a place like Grand Marais, here renamed McAllaster. All Michiganders (not just women) should relish this book for the reliving of this state’s recognizable features and lifestyles.
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  • Book Type Nonfiction
  • by Ira Sukrungraung
  • Date Published October 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59732-124-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Denise Hill
Ira Sukrungruang takes readers through the gamut in this collection of essays, Southside Buddhist. Gamut of what? You name it: emotions, literary styles of nonfiction, life experiences, ages, cultures—all in this one remarkable collection of essays.

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