Capsule reviews

Truth and revolution

Gabriela Portillo Alvarado

Editorial assistant Gabriela Portillo Alvarado makes her capsule reviews debut with writing on three poetry titles featuring love, resistance, and truth: Valuing by Christopher Kondrich, Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real by Moez Surani, and dayliGht by Roya Marsh. From the reviews: Valuing’s perhaps most prominent feature is romantic tenderness: “And though I have no holdings, / you may increase your stock in me; / you may reserve the right to vessel. To partition if you need to.” Through often-abstract wordplay, which rises to the surface of every page, Kondrich reveals his love of and mastery over language. Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real focuses on a variety of subjects from daily commute to relationships, from travels in India to New York Times references. Surani delves into his experiences with romantic love: “When we aren’t lured by mystery we’ll seek it in others. […] / Is love simply chasing after another’s full and elusive truth?”

Clap, baby: like this

Kenna O'Rourke

Kenna O’Rourke takes another look at three 2018 poetry titles: Clap for Me That’s Not Me by Paola Capó-García, Baby, I Don’t Care by Chelsey Minnis, and Don’t Let Them See Me Like This by Jasmine Gibson.

Kenna O’Rourke takes another look at three 2018 poetry titles.

Citizenship in contest

Orchid Tierney

Orchid Tierney rounds out the year with three reviews of 2019 poetry titles.

In hollows

Kenna O'Rourke

Kenna O’Rourke reviews three poetry titles featuring dysfunctional relationships: Red Mother by Laurel Radzieski, small siren by Alexandra Mattraw, and Without Protection by Gala Mukomolova.

Translating grief

Quinn Gruber

J2 summer intern Quinn Gruber writes on three translated titles that parse loss: Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon, Time by Etel Adnan, and To the Ashes by Anzhelina Polonskaya.