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Brick Books - March 20, 2006 - 26 Comments

The Memory Orchard

The Memory Orchard by Tim Bowling

Reviewed by matt robinson

To crack the stark, near black-and-white sparseness of wintering tree limbs that is the cover of Tim Bowling’s The Memory Orchard (Brick Books, 2004), to turn the pages and read through the poems that comprise the collection, is to act much as the speaker in the poem “Mannequins” does.  As readers, we’ll find ourselves stepping “lightly / through the long-smashed panes / of streetfront glass” into an “eternal dusk, the ring / of a mortal register echoing / like a stone dropped / farther and farther down / a well” until all we can hear “is what memory hears,” as it’s “measured out” in “supple, cadenced tones” (“Mannequins”  22).

All this is to say, essentially (as has always been the case), that Bowling does memory well here throughout; the man is a master of what might be best characterized as an elegiac tone.

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Brick Books - March 14, 2006 - 39 Comments

Lunar Drift

Lunar Drift by Marlene Cookshaw

Reviewed by Richard Stevenson

Let’s cut to the chase: Brick has been producing some of the best books of poetry in the country for a while now, and they do a fabulous job of presenting, distributing, and marketing them.  Lunar Drift (2005) is a beautiful book, inside and out. The blue crosscut image of an aged tree, with its dark cracks running from pith to new growth timber – whether petrified or merely transformed by lunar light into a cement urban moon dial – is stark and powerful.  The black end wrappers, fine paper stock, Sabon and Rotis fonts dignify, and grace the contents. Best of all: the contents deserve it.

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Brick Books - March 07, 2006 - 1 Comment

Undone

Undone by Sue Goyette

Reviewed by Eric Barstad

On the surface, Sue Goyette’s Undone (Brick 2004) shares certain characteristics with Shawna Lemay’s Blue Feast (reviewed here): Both are intensely personal books; both deal in the currency of sadness and are affluent; both can be self-reflexive, referring to writing, and poetry, and writers; both are long books, as far as poetry collections are concerned. Where Undone separates itself, however, is in its conveyance of the emotions felt by the speaker. An evocative poem can make you shiver in your seat, and many of the poems in this collection do just that.

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