'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

'Heartwrecks' by Nicolas Destino

Part of the mission of Sibling Rivalry Press is to “develop, promote, and market underground artistic talent—those who don’t quite fit into the mainstream.” Editor Bryan Borland and company have certainly succeeded in this aim with Nicolas Destino’s Heartwrecks, a quirky volume of poetry that contains no small supply of whimsy…. read more

'Centaur' by Greg Wrenn

Contemporary books that invoke the classics risk pretension. It was with some trepidation, then, that I approached Greg Wrenn’s Centaur, with its eight-poem cycle on a man who transforms himself into one of the mythical horse-legged creatures. What I found, however, was a book which deals much more with personal—rather than Ovidian or Kafkaesque—metamorphosis. The… read more

'Speaking Wiri Wiri' by Dan Vera

“Wiri Wiri” is not, as one might guess, some little-known dialect. Nor is Dan Vera’s Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press) an attempt to appeal to the linguistically esoteric. The title is a term invented by Vera’s father to mean “gibberish.” Yet there is no gibberish to be found in Vera’s Letras Latinas-winning poetry collection. Rather, there… read more