From Category: Poetry
By Helen Leslie Sokolsky. This distinctive poetry chapbook from Finishing Line Press contains a portrait gallery of urban characters. Their alienation is healed, momentarily, by the author's mature and compassionate re-imagining of the lives she glimpses in passing. These narratives show us recognizable scenes made fresh by Sokolsky's original metaphors.
By John Allen Taylor. Bold, tender poetry chapbook depicts a Southern childhood marked by sexual abuse from his Sunday school teacher, and the grace and gratitude he finds in reclaiming his body as part of the natural world.
Speaking in sonnets seems as natural as breathing for this author, whose effortless mastery of poetic forms is employed to tell the story of a young woman's discovery of her lesbian identity. Some explicit passages.
The root vegetable, as metaphor for the unearthing of secrets and the renewal of aging bodies, unifies this satisfying chapbook from Cervena Barva Press. In Woodworth's inventive poems, nuns peeling potatoes could be fantasizing about Marilyn Monroe's striptease; a woman puzzled by hints of her father's infidelity might try to call her childhood home by speaking into a rose shaped like an antique telephone.
By Nancy Craig Zarzar. Winner of the 2007 Main Street Rag Chapbook Contest, this poetry collection depicts intimate relationships cleaved by silences, frustrated by communication barriers both psychological and inter-cultural, but capable of being healed by empathy. Divine grace helps some of these characters find the willingness to enter into another’s strange mental world, like the husband who alone appreciates the creative visions of his stigmatized, mentally ill wife. Others remain on the opposite side of the barrier, perhaps because their intentions were not as pure, like the male narrator who is intrigued by his hairdresser’s quiet daughter.
Memorable chapbook whose poems are always about so much more than their literal subject matter. Cleland trusts her readers to recognize the story of an unhappy marriage in a cat's transformation into a dog, or the divine-human power struggle over forbidden knowledge in a guided tour of a factory. This book was one of the three winners of the 2006 Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Competition. Their book design and materials are above-average.
By Naila Moreira. This poet and science journalist's second chapbook marries the majesty of High Modernist style with a humble attention to our nonhuman neighbors on the planet. Like Yeats and Eliot, she speaks with prophetic sureness about cosmic themes, but where they might have recoiled from nature's messiness into the cool chambers of intellect, Moreira shows us the fatal consequences of such detachment. She quickens our conscience to protect our fragile environment, then invites us to be awestruck by meteor showers and comforted by the cycle "of being and of killing, of eating and of rot", as our tiny breaths "fuse with the world's bedlam of respiration".
Provocative poetry chapbook by a Palestinian-American writer whose creative and academic work on Middle Eastern and women's issues has been widely anthologized. The title poem in this collection was a finalist in our 2004 War Poetry Contest.
Autobiographical collection is an elegy to the poet's brother, who died young from AIDS. These verses are poignant and true.
Raw, tender poems of gay male love and lust, and the blurry line between them. This chapbook won the 2008-09 Stonewall Competition from BrickHouse Books.
By Ellaraine Lockie. This widely published writer is known for narrative poems that capture the unique character of a place and its people. In her eleventh chapbook, winner of the 2014 Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, she returns to her native Montana to honor the land that her parents and grandparents farmed. The collection includes humorous character sketches, elegies for towns hollowed out by economic collapse, and love songs to the landscape that revives her spirit.
By Ruth Thompson. This poetry collection, earthy yet mythical, celebrates the spiritual wisdom of the Crone, the woman with crows (and crows' feet). Because of her conscious kinship with nature, the speaker of these poems embraces the changes that our artificial culture has taught us to dread. Fatness recurs as a revolutionary symbol of joy: a woman's body is not her enemy, and scarcity is not the deepest truth. For her, the unraveling of memory and the shedding of possessions are not a story of decline but a fairy tale of transformation.
Powerful, heartfelt poems and prose by 95 incarcerated women from the Voices From Inside project. This anthology has received high praise from Billy Collins and Ellen Dore Watson among others. Voices From Inside, located in western Massachusetts, facilitates writing workshops with women in prison, encouraging them to write their stories in their own unique voices. This volume brings the women’s writing into the larger community, promoting a deeper understanding of the human costs of incarceration. All profits from book sales support the program. Copies are $17 plus $3 shipping; make checks out to Amherst Writers & Artists Press and mail to Voices from Inside, P.O. Box 60443, Florence, MA 01062. Email codirector Carolyn Benson for more information and discounts on bulk orders.
The Iowa Review, a prestigious literary journal, has compiled a list of writing resources for military veterans. These include articles on how to run a veterans' writing workshop; journals and contests specializing in military-affiliated writers and themes; and links to workshops around the US.