I've been remiss in blogging a few recent reviews I've done of poetry collections. Thought I'd put two of them together here for this blog:
First up, we have Life-Limbs from Eliana Vanessa. An excellent first poetry collection from this New Orleans area author. It's not easy to categorize this collection. Most of the poems are dark, skirting the edge of horror and sometimes crossing over, but I wouldn't classify them as horror. They are primarily about relationships and longings--universal issues. Here's a couple of small tastes to give you the flavor:
"blood from the neck of a delicate crow sutures tomorrow's wings back together again," (from earth angel), and "to light up my smoke with a black candle skull," (from red hot death).
A nice element in many of the poems is a very delicate internal resonance. I hesitate to say "rhyming" because it's extremely subtle, but it slips wonderfully off the tongue. Many of these pieces should be read aloud.
Although this is the author's first collection, I'm aware that she's been widely published in magazines and anthologies and her poetical skills are well developed. Highly recommended.
Next we have a very neat little item. Published in a limited edition of 300. My copy is #12, signed by both authors, Marge Simon and Bruce Boston, who happen also to be husband and wife. Boston is a widely known poet/author with numerous awards behind his name. Simon is both an excellent poet and editor, and is also an illustrator of note. This collection of their collaborative poetry also contains numerous neat illustrations by Simon. They two are talented poets full of strange and lovely words which they have spilled onto the pages of Night Smoke. I much enjoyed this read. I'm not sure if this collection is easily available commercially but you might be able to get a copy from either Bruce or Marge, who are present on Facebook, which is where I heard of this collection. I recommend it for all.
It's always good to see poetry reviewed. I haven't heard of either. Just last week I included the review of a book of poems in my posts.
Jeff, I try to read a half dozen or so poetry collections every year. I enjoy it and it's a change of pace for me.
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