“Dean Gessie’s scintillating goat song reveals a poet and writer at the height of his powers. Defying genre and canon, Gessie shapeshifts, skin shucks and shimmies in this masterfully crafted, explosively seditious, viscerally engaging magnum opus of satire. Equal parts alchemy, threnody and rebel gospel, goat song is a potent protest song to human, animal and planetary suffering. Threaded through with finely honed lyric, motif, imagery and metaphor, not a word is spare. This collection sings throughout with razor’s edge wit and supremely slick syntax.”
— Anne Casey, poet and writer,winner of multiple international awards, including first prize in the American Writers Review Contest 2021 and winner of the 2021 iWoman Global Award in the field of literature.
“In Alight, Rachael Peckham looks with clear eyes directly at the grief, loss, and haunting questions surrounding the plane crash that killed her grandfather and two uncles before she was born. She handles her volatile material tenderly, yet matter-of-factly. Through a collage of prose poems, witness testimonials, excerpts of letters, conversations, vignettes, scenes from her own flying lesson, and the white space between it all, the story shifts and builds like fast-moving clouds in the summer sky. I am in awe of the mind that constructed this book. And yet, overwhelmingly, as I read Alight, I felt it–in my chest, in my lungs, in my eyes as they stung, and I blinked away tears. With keen perception and curiosity informed by the ache of reflected grief that inhabited her childhood, Peckham gently guides the reader into the wreckage and back out again.”
~ Kathleen McGookey, author of Instructions for My Imposter: Prose Poem
“Rubino amazes with big love and a historian’s knowledge of all things athletic.” — Dee Allen
With fire and wisdom, poignancy and tenderness, Robert Eugene Rubino’s poetry in “DOUGLAS KNOCKS OUT TYSON” explores legends and underdogs on big stages and in living rooms, on an expressway and over a checkerboard at a nursing home. Rubino’s superb craft, narrative strokes and smooth style have created a powerful collection of poems that illuminate, explore, and touch the heart.
— Guy Biederman, author of Nova Nights (Nomadic Press, 2021)
With A Bleeding in Black Leather, John Pietaro takes urban poetry and fiction on a throbbing roller-coaster ride through latent modernism, self-exploration, jagged rhythmic cadences and the raw sounds of music and words. All the while reveling in New York centricity. Here’s a collection conceived in Selby’s Brooklyn in the bare light of the blue hour.
“In 2020, I described John Pietaro’s The Mercer Stands Burning as a love poem to the muse and to NYC itself. One foot out of the pandemic, A Bleeding in Black Leather is part punk rock dirge, part jazz symphony, paying homage to the lost and to the living treasures. Sonny stands at the bridge and Selby’s Brooklyn “surrounds Manhattan like a fallen idol.” The last lines are, I hope, a segue to the next installment: ‘So smeared, the rainbows of ink…saturation to the vivid’.”
-PUMA PERL, rock-n-roll poet of the Lower East Side, resident poet of Chelsea Community News, she leads the band Puma Perl & Friends. Puma’s latest publication is Birthdays Before and After.
A Review of Eye of the Spiral by James Grabill (UnCollected Press, 2022)
James Grabill’s Eye of The Spiral is clearly part of the “Eco-poetics” movement. What makes it unique can be seen in its title and the spiral (created by Grabill) on the front cover, i.e. the rich ambiguity of how its poems reach out to the environment and simultaneously reach inward to embody the neuro-linguistic pathways of human awareness. Each poem in the book enacts astonishing insights into the limitless interactions between human beings and their environments and at the same time provides perceptual paradigms needed for survival as well as acts of joyful liberation in the discovery of knowledge.
Perhaps what Grabill is doing in this book, i.e. creating a biological surrealism, can be illustrated by focusing on “In the Glow of the River.” It begins in a speculative mood: “Maybe we’ve seen ourselves overhead/in the night sky streaking unexpectedly.” That is a trigger image that initiates an unfurling and cumulative expansion of the speaker’s felt-thought. The opening of the poem is like the subject or noun of a sentence; the rest of the poem shifts from nominative to its opening predicate, “meteor showers over the insect prairies” to “the plotted Mandelbrot number series” which when seen as an animated sequence becomes “the opening eye of a spiral” like the human mind which is also like the pupil of the human eye which has evolved to allow varying amounts of light to enter. The subtext of this poem is an enactment of a theory that asteroids and comets may have seeded the earth with the chemical elements that undergird the creation of life, yet all this exists in a meditative moment in which the “glow of the river” is the reflective surface (the human mind) upon which this entire drama unfolds.
The rhythms of Eye of The Spiral are often that of dithyrambic goat-songs which propel the lines with a wonderful energy that wave-like pass through oceans of images that actively present the processes that create the foundations of life and the provenance of sustainability which arises out of loving our planet as we love ourselves. In effect, this book becomes the Gospel of Nature.
K.P. Anderson’s “Mellifluous” is an exquisitely written, elegant, and refined journey into the interior world of the bee. The book is an intimate, fascinating, and revealing artistic conveyance of one of nature’s own profound works of art. Both empirical in its insightful detail and magical in the beauty of its revelations, this book deftly creates a work of art informed by and informing us of nature’s (almost) unparalleled artistry.
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa’s endorsement of K.P. Anderson’s “Mellifluous” provides a sense of the profound artistry and understanding that makes this book so unique:
“K.P. Anderson’s Mellifluous shapes and experiments with sound, whereby each taut poem grows personal, then universal. Nature (especially the bee) performs in this chapbook; a human compass—existential and spiritual—focus the rituals of being. The title informs the reader not how to feel or say, but how to be, and see into an internal terrain—through a music that queries and cajoles.“
Simon Maddrell was born in Douglas, Isle of Man in 1965 and brought up in Bolton, UK. After twenty years in London, he moved to Brighton & Hove in 2020.
Simon writes through the lens of a queer Manx man, thriving with HIV.
He is published in fourteen anthologies in the UK and USA including The Sixty-Four: Best Poets of 2019, Black Mountain Press, 2020 and The Best New British & Irish Poets 2019-2021, The Black Spring Press, 2021. His poems appear in various publications including AMBIT, Butcher’s Dog, Stand, The Moth, The New European, Morning Star, Paragon, The Raw Art Review, Prickly Pear and American Poetry. His debut chapbook, Throatbone was published by UnCollected Press (MA, USA) in August 2020. Queerfella was Joint Winner in The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition and published in Dec 2020. Nine Pens Press (UK) published All About Our Mothers with Vasiliki Albedo and Mary Mulholland in Jan. 2022.
Prizes & Competitions: • Joint Winner, The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition 2020 –– Queerfella • Commended, Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition 2021 –– The Species Forecast • Longlist, Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition 2021 –– Manxisle • Longlist, Poetry Book Awards 2020 –– Throatbone.
Poem Prizes & Competitions: • First-runner up, Frogmore Poetry Prize 2020 –– ‘The snow leopard bites its own tail’ • Highly Commended, The Winchester Poetry Prize 2021 –– ‘nature poem’ • Highly Commended, Welsh Poetry Competition 2020 –– ‘A nut roast has arrived’ • Longlist, The Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize 2022 –– ‘One night awaits us all’ • Longlist, The Rialto Nature and Place Competition 2020 –– ‘Half-rotten, half-new’