RaveBooklist\"Creativity and imagination helped Harjo escape abusive situations. She was also gifted with the ability to listen deeply and find a place to exist harmoniously between sensuality and physical power and sensitivity and connectedness to other inner and spiritual energies. Throughout this lyrical, beautiful memoir Harjo generously shares her inspirations: family, nature, ritual, music, literature, her life lessons and insights gleaned from her dreams, psychic intuitions, and communications with ancestors.
PositiveBooklistFew readers will encounter with any frequency such bold, bizarre, and brutally honest content as is in Sparks’ new collection ... Sparks’ imagination seems limitless, her approaches to style and form without boundaries. Yet there is a cohesive voice and intention here, whether Sparks is using the vehicles of myth, history, and fantasy in her attempts to unravel rather than weave together tales of women’s true experiences. To escape possession, find one’s self, exert force without shame or justification, and tell what really happened—these themes rise like foam on the roiling bone-rich broth of righteous feminine rage. At once timely, wickedly funny, and uncomfortably real, Sparks’ singular stories have the power to shake us wide awake and shatter every last happily-ever-after illusion.
RaveBooklistAs founding president of the Elizabeth Bishop Society, it is not surprising that Travisano has an intimate grasp of Bishop’s life and poetry. What is surprising is how utterly captivating his biography is, let alone his illuminating, interwoven analysis of her work ... Just as a young Bishop’s reading of a book about the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley inspired her to seek simultaneous immersion in his writing, so too, will Travisano’s biography spark desire to engage with Bishop’s extraordinary poems. Though not prolific, Bishop perfected her craft and left the powerful body of work so well explored here, assuring her place among the best of twentieth-century poets.
PositiveBooklistWieland’s prose is simultaneously poetic and sparse, much like Bishop’s poems. The chapters are short and often skip through time like a stone across water ... Bishop contemplated what it meant to keep her \'eyes open\' and attain a deeper vision that could reorder pieces of the past and present into coherence ... Wieland’s rendition of Bishop’s life aptly and beautifully mirrors that process.
PositiveBooklist\"Scholarly arguments about how Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham, handled Emily Dickinson’s work during their years of editing and compiling the nearly 1800 poems discovered after Dickinson’s death will continue. But thanks to Tufts University professor Dobrow’s astonishing new research, readers gain a better understanding of their efforts ... Hopefully, Dobrow’s chronicle will draw readers back to Dickinson, whom Dobrow rightly names as America’s greatest poet.
RaveBooklistThe result [of his final work] reflects Ritvo’s astonishing linguistic agility, singular vision, and thought processes as well as his frankness, quirkiness, and sly humor. It also reveals the potent way he embraced life, despite recurrent cancer and numerous surgeries, clinical trials, and debilitating treatments. Feeling an urgency to make art, Ritvo was prolific; he was also wise and gifted, and he seemed emotionally mature beyond his years ... The Final Voicemails may conclude Ritvo’s literary legacy, but it will stand as a testament to the salvation that is poetry, how it lives beyond the page and the poet.
PositiveBooklistThe poet’s daily encounters are genuine and relatable. So, too, is her inner questioning and hope for compassion. But Meitner pulls no punches ... Meitner has created a keen social record of, and commentary on, our persistent human atrocities, but she also admirably transcends the dire in a search for salvation.
D. Wystan Owen
RaveBooklistOwen’s style of expression and unique metaphors can be so beautiful they make one stop and reread. They also punctuate the realistic dialogue and clear, bare description. Each story seems to follow a similar structure, beginning with one character’s point of view and moving to the next point of view and the next. This might seem repetitive, but it creates a tidal rhythm, simultaneously dependable and engaging, and helps build cohesion among the linked narratives. Owen is a subtle and keen storyteller whose focus on love and relationships reminds us that headlines and hot topics hold no substance next to tales of the human heart.
RaveBooklist Online...Asghar presents a debut poetry collection showcasing both a fierce and tender new voice. The poems, largely based on the experience of living in America as a Pakistani Muslim, reflect Asghar’s keen perceptions about the search for, and inability to firmly fix upon, one true identity ... As Asghar traces the threads of her experiences, she slowly unfurls the larger fabric of her heritage and, in doing so, honors all who have been pushed aside, divided from country and culture, misrepresented, and misunderstood ... Asghar allows poignant contradictions to rise to the surface, like a lotus reaching through mud and murky water to beautifully bloom.