Once in the West by Christian Wiman

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  (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014).   Once in the West, Christian Wiman’s fourth collection of poems, enacts a spiritual quest that is simultaneously a kerosene-and-blood- and-shit-and-morphine-fueled struggle to make something out of pain that is both physical and spiritual … Read More

My Father’s Eyes by Mary Bonina

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  (Cervena Barva Press, 2013). The eye is a complicated organ. It captures images only after light has passed through the lens, been received by cells in the retina, and then encoded into signals that optic nerves have sent on … Read More

The Sharp White Background

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Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press, 2014); Forgiveness Forgiveness by Shane McCrae (Factory Hollow Press, 2014).   Claudia Rankine and Shane McCrae are both writers who directly, clearly, and pointedly approach the past and present injustices inherited … Read More

Vanishings and Returns

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  Second Childhood: Poems by Fanny Howe (Graywolf Press, 2014); Our Vanishing by Frannie Lindsay (Red Hen Press, 2014).   New books by Fanny Howe and Frannie Lindsay explore facets of faith and aging. A passage from the title poem … Read More

The Letting Go: Portal by Mary Pinard

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Portal by Mary Pinard (Salmon Poetry, 2014).   When writing poetry about traumatic loss, words advance and retreat glacier-like, leaving writer and reader inexorably changed through engagements with form, the new shapes natural processes yield, the landscape that grief and … Read More

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