Reviews : Poetry

‘Felicity’ by Mary Oliver

Over her past few collections, Mary Oliver has moved away from the sweeping depictions of nature and fascination with religion that permeated her early and mid-career books. In her most recent work published by Penguin Press, she has focused on short poems about over-coming depression, rediscovering love, and celebrating joy as well as gratitude. In… read more

'How the Boy Might See It' by Charlie Bondhus

Charlie Bondhus is haunted by the eponymous “boy.” The shadowy child reifies memory, allowing the poet to address and redress the past. However, the boy’s shape-shifting manifestations resist the poet’s grasp. The slippery presence allows him to straddle antitheses—the lyric with the narrative, the sacred with the erotic: “[A]nd then everyone / naked and kneeling… read more

'Voyage of the Sable Venus' by Robin Coste Lewis

The first time that I picked up Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis was shortly after its release, in a New York City bookstore. I flipped through the book’s pages, read a couple poems, and then moved on (walking out of the store empty-handed). The second time that I encountered Voyage of… read more

'For Your Own Good' by Leah Horlick

For Your Own Good is a testimony, a warning, a summoning of all female power to come forth and just be still. Horlick’s sophomore collection is so vulnerable and accessible that I’m sure I’ve written the same poems in my own mind. This beautifully painful collection exposes Horlick for what she really is, a Woman…. read more