Reviews - December 2011

A careful assemblage

A review of 'Nox'

Anne Carson’s newest book, Nox, seduced me immediately. The book in its clamshell case is a physical, touchable thing. Nox is an accordion-fold book, one forty-foot long page, folded to roughly the size of a half sheet of letter paper. It’s a tactile and visual delight to open the lid of the case and extract the stacked accordion-fold volume, to scan its palette of sepia tones and late, small bursts of color. Reading it is a sensory experience; the composition — a collage of text, photographs and drawings — engages the eye, and the narrative is engrossing and moving.

Surprise of another 'impossible' category

A Review of 'Portrait and Dream'

Bill Berkson’s Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems brings together fifty years of writing and sums up (so far) the singular career of an important poet, critic, and scholar of the New York School.

A review of 'Lake Antiquity: Poems 1996–2008'

In what may be an ironic gesture of the first degree, the subtitle of Brandon Downing’s Lake Antiquity reads “Poems: 1996–2008,” for one hundred and ninety pages, full color, about one square foot, numerous X-Acto blades, sticks of glue, ephemera, twelve years of labor.