Two Books by Timothy Liu

Ever prolific, Timothy Liu published two books in 2009, one a collaboration with the visual artist Greg Drasler, the other a collection of his own poems. Liu’s work continues its seamless flow of syntax and phrase, his signature style the way the poems tumble forward in an almost Ashbery-ian effortlessness.  Liu is a master of… read more

'Sweet Core Orchard' by Benjamin Grossberg

Benjamin Grossberg’s second collection of poems is a book about writing—about writing’s processes and demands and possibilities.  The volume tends towards contemplations of contemplation, and its best, it’s riveting.  The book opens “Always the script, the dramatic comma,/ the pointed ellipsis, half turn, beat, the exit/ itself as punctuation.  Let’s say the back wall/ of the house fell… read more

'The Heart's Traffic' by Ching-In Chen

Chen hasn’t settled on a single voice or form, and the one can feel the poet’s excitement at trying out the possibilities of writing poems as the book takes us through prose poems, a villanelle, a renga, a sestina, a double sestina, zuihitsus, crowns of seven, a ghazal, a haibun, a pantoum, free verse, a… read more

'Please' by Jericho Brown

Brown is a generous writer—he never forgets his audience, never turns his back or forgets that you’ve paid your admission.  He starts by explaining himself, opening the collection with an ars poetica, “Track 1: Lush Life.”  It begins, “The woman with the microphone sings to hurt you” (7).   Like one of Dante’s tormented, he has… read more