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Book Reviews by Title - T (86)

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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Divya Victor
  • Date Published April 2014
  • ISBN-13 ISBN-13: 978-193425452-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 128pp
  • Price $15.00
  • Review by Trena Machado
The reader has a lot of work to do after entering Divya Victor’s piece of expression, Things To Do With Your Mouth. The writing is a hybrid of text, speech, and performance. The body, the vocal cords, the mouth. This is about who can speak and be heard and who cannot, about who has power in the system and who does not, and we experience this from the side of those who are not heard and who do not have power in the system.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Wendy Jones
  • Date Published March 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-60945-185-1
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 272pp
  • Price $17.00
  • Review by Olive Mullet
The title of this debut novel by Wendy Jones, The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals, suggests a fun, light, old-fashioned read, which it partly is. But it also deals with serious, timeless subjects, though the resolution reflects the time wherein the novel takes place: 1924, in the small Welsh town of Narberth.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Anthony McCann
  • Date Published September 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933517-96-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 128pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Elizabeth O’Brien
“The Day,” the first poem Anthony McCann’s latest poetry collection, Thing Music, from Wave Books, begins:

In this coupling
     of speech
  where everything
begins     where
shimmering
began
    please
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Susanna J. Mishler
  • Date Published May 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59709-970-7
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 101pp
  • Price $11.00
  • Review by Andrea Dulberger
Termination Dust is the fitting title of Susanna J. Mishler’s first collection of poems. As this Alaska-based poet describes in a poem, “termination dust” is the name locals use for the first snowfall in autumn: it names the meeting point between seasons, and suggests an essential ending and beginning. Moments of such meeting-grounds—between humans, between the human and the wild—are key elements throughout the wide-ranging poems of this striking collection.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by David Kirby
  • Date Published April 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1882295678
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Micah Zevin
David Kirby is the rare poet who juxtaposes humor and satire with a serious academic and classical knowledge without pandering exclusively to one or the other. It is a balancing act that is quite successful because it appears effortless. Mr. Kirby has a niche and a style that does not vary stylistically from collection to collection, a consistency that is not a weakness but a strength. If you desired, you could group David Kirby’s witty poems with the likes of Tony Hoagland, Dean Young and Bob Hicok. Kirby is a specialist, strumming his voice, his lone unique instrument, like a speed-reading comedian who makes the reader read until they are out of breath but rarely dissatisfied. In his new collection, this exploration of humor through knowledge and vice versa is gladly continued.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Ayane Kawata
  • Translated From Japanese
  • by Sawako Nakayasu
  • Date Published May 2010
  • ISBN-13 978-1-933959-08-5
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 144pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by C.J. Opperthauser
Sawako Nakayasu's translation of Ayane Kawata's Time of Sky & Castles in the Air proves that translating Japanese to English can result in a beautiful rebirth. The first half of the book, Time of Sky, is full of number-titled poems usually no longer than three or four lines in length, but these poems pack so much imagery and beautiful sounds that the reader often has no choice but to reread immediately. I found myself pausing to soak in all of the wonderful, unique images and ideas. Even simple things resound with beauty, like the description of a pigeon in 12:
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Stan Sanvel Rubin
  • Date Published September 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9883166-6-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 88pp
  • Price $18.00
  • Review by Andrea Dulberger
The beautiful cover image for this book of poetry—a painting by an artist named Linda Okazaki—features an animal, probably a fox, alone on a bridge over a vast expanse of water, with trees and mountains in the distance under an orange-red sky. There is a mythical quality to this painting that matches the energy of the best poems in Stan Sanvel Rubin’s There. Here. In this fourth full-length book by Rubin, I find an author who sometimes muses about life in direct, observant narratives and, at other times, offers images with the compression of Zen koans.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Susan Terris
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-0-9725384-11
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Sima Rabinowitz
“I make and remake myself,” the poet writes in “No Stork,” the collection’s opening poem. The whole of the book is similarly smart, composed of economic lines that contain more than seems possible, given their deceptive simplicity and plain diction. Terris reminds us that poetry need not be arch and “high brow,” down and dirty (edgy, rough, street-wise), or impossibly inventive (structurally or syntactically over-ambitious) to be artful (“If I / told you what I know, you’d question / my solutions”).
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  • Book Type Memoir
  • by Ira Sukrungruang
  • Date Published March 2010
  • ISBN-13 9780826218896
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 168pp
  • Price $24.95
  • Review by Denise Hill
It seems inherent that immigration stories must revolve around flight from a home country – due to war, political injustice, threat of death, wretched conditions that force a person to seek a better life, or the desire to achieve the American Dream. There is none of this in Talk Thai. Sukrungruang’s parents left Thailand enticed by jobs. He writes, “Most Thai immigrants viewed America only as a workplace. America provided jobs. America provided monetary success. America provided opportunities Thailand couldn’t.” No harrowing tales of escape or of the horrors left behind. Not even a real desire to be here: “My mother often joked that she started packing for home as soon as she arrived in Chicago in 1968.” This kind of immigrant story, then, must settle around some sense of “the other” – the outsider – and the day-to-day struggles of not fully belonging. And in America, this is easy.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Larissa Szporluk
  • Date Published September 2011
  • ISBN-13 9781936797028
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 64pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Erik Fuhrer
Like Shakespeare’s play, Traffic with Macbeth is a fearless journey into the depths of myth, the human psyche, and often violence. There is a density to many of the poems, which at times renders them a bit opaque. Yet, so well-crafted are the lyrics that the hard shells of her images beg to be cracked. Images that are impenetrable are simultaneously beautiful and terrible and remind the reader of the artistry of mystery. However, no matter the difficulty of meaning, Szporluk’s tone always rings clear. At every step, the tongues of Macbeth’s witches and Macbeth’s own tortured soul slouch at the margins of these poems, whispering to them, feeding them the macabre spirit that produced such haunting lyrics as those in “Baba Yaga”:
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