1. January 2015 Poetry magazine
I usually enjoy reading the Poetry magazine: it’s fairly inexpensive and has good poetry. This issue wasn’t bad. There were a few poems I didn’t like. Favorite author/poem this go around goes to “At the Fishhouses” by Paisley Rekdal. Nice solid images and an interesting story to go with it. I also liked the photography/poems at the end of the book by young Honduran orphans girls. The poetry is so-so, but the stories and images behind them are amazing.
4/5 stars. Recommend subscription ($3.50/issue, $35 US subscription) [link to purchase]
2. How To Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead, Ariel Gore
I saw a shelf talker for this book at Powell’s in Portland, OR and thought it might be an interesting read, so I picked up a copy. This book is geared more toward beginning writers, though I found some of the information useful. The top reason I liked this book? It got me fired up and ready to write and publish more—especially in the fiction section of my writing. Some of the assignments and interviews are worthwhile. I’m ready to be a lit star.
3.5/5 stars: Recommended, (strongly for beginning writers) $14.99 [link to purchase]
3. November 2013 Poetry magazine
I forgot I had this issue to read, so I pulled it down and read it. There were two poems that stood out to me this issue. The first poem “Two Moths” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil has really interesting spacing and line breaks and some wonderful imagery. It also happens to be the first poem in the issue. The second poem that stood out to me was “Homan and Chicago Ave.” by Philip B Williams (and the rest of his work in here is good too). This the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow issue and also features some work by Emily Dickinson.
4/5 stars: Recommend subscription ($3.50/issue, $35 US subscription) [link to purchase]
4. The Green Season, Donna Hilbert
I picked up a copy of this a long, long time ago. My best guess is about 3/4 years ago. I’ve met and spoken with Donna a few times; she is a wonderful and fabulous person and a great poet. I believe this book has been updated. Overall, the poetry is down-to-earth and domestic. Donna is a pro at making daily life stand out on the page. Really good poems about the sudden loss of her husband as well. I liked all the stories in this one, save for the opener. Favorite poems from this read: “What God Wants,” “Credo,” and “What I Know.”
4/5 stars: Recommended $9.95 [link to purchase]