Reviews - March 2012

The consolation of poetry

A review of two recent books by René Char

“It’s not going so good with me recently,” wrote William Carlos Williams to his friend Fred Miller on January 9, 1953. “What with [the] injury to my right flipper and the trouble they have cooked up for me over the Library of Congress job I’m in a bad way.”[1] He was not exaggerating. Williams was at the nadir of his life. Retired from medicine, convalescing after a particularly bad stroke, and redbaited out of his sinecure at the Library of Congress, his troubles must have seemed endless.

On 'Both Sides and the Center' 2

A review of the festival, part two

Amina Cain (l) and Teresa Carmody. Photos by Harold Abramowitz.

Andrea Quaid in conversation with Amina Cain and Teresa Carmody about curation, collaboration, and their recent project, Both Sides and The Center, at the Schindler House in Los Angeles.

A poem is a sacred attempt at communicating what is impossible to communicate

A review of Laura Solomon's 'The Hermit'

“Begin with dreams,” writes Laura Solomon in “Dream Ear, Part III.” The things going on in our dreams are often crazy and impossible, but our dreams are not lies, they are true, physical events going on in our brains and they are entirely untethered to the scientific possibilities of truth in the physical universe. In other words, dreams are a lot like poems.

Europe's shadows vs. America's dreams

A review of Andrew Ervin's 'Extraordinary Renditions'

What amazed me most about Hungary is that history is not history there. The events of the past are still present every single day, at every minute, in ways I couldn’t even imagine at first. — Andrew Ervin, Press Release

'Say what you know'

A review of Eleanor Wilner's 'A Tourist in Hell'

Eleanor Rand Wilner’s poems are adventures. These adventures include almost every subject imaginable: war, peace, nature, knitting, mountain climbing, insects and intellectuals. It is an adventure into the labyrinth of an amazing mind. Each poem starts off directly enough; soon you don’t know where the poem is going; then it leads from one surprise to another; until the whole evolves organically into one or more revelations that expand your understanding of what was broached at the beginning of the poem. She writes with the eyes of someone who just got there. But she arrives there with a depth of intelligence. For instance, the poem that begins The Girl with Bees in Her Hair prepares us as though “everything is starting up again.”