Smoothie Claudine Toutoungi Carcanet Press Ltd, Dec. 1 2017 80 pp; $12.99 Buy: paperback | eBook Reviewed by Peter Pegnall It is rare that a first collection of poems bounces into the mind like a gifted child, difficult, effervescent, wildly inventive and not to be silenced. When it happens,
Presented in a series of “blackouts,” which redact the work of numerous contemporary poets, Out of Context reads as an innovative and highly visual ars poetica.
These three presses dropped their very first chapbook this calendar year: Barrelhouse, known for its literary journal; Third Man Books, Jack White’s Third Man Records’ publishing outlet; and Sutra Press, a brand new micro-press out of Clarksville, Arkansas.
Lynch’s radiant lyricism throughout the collection expresses the post-traumatic tension of persistent remembering and forgetting rape. Read as poetry of witness, the collection is illuminating, for trauma survivors and for those willing to behold its aftermath.
Chapbooks that combine the work of a writer with that of a visual artist are rarer than, perhaps, they should be. There’s something special about flipping open a chapbook to find art within its pages as well.
Imagine an anthology of the literature of walking, with examples ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Now imagine a book containing only commentaries on these ruminations on walking, without the accompaniment of the texts that inspired them.
Porkbelly Press is a Cincinnati-based press that puts out chapbooks and micro-chapbooks as well as a literary magazines and anthologies.
With scars across its pages, I Know Your Kind conveys the pervasive shadow the opioid epidemic casts across Oceana—and, by extension, towns like Oceana—in a way that statistics, figures, and journalism cannot.
While Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work resembles prose poetry more broadly, it uses spaces for its pacing, grammar, and syntax instead of punctuation. Angel Dominguez uses the form to write a series of letters, and Andrea Lawlor’s prose reads like a poetic manual for utopia.
These often dark and deeply personal poems are armored with comedic turns and allusions to our “rotting times.”