Stephen Morrow

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House of Fact, House of Ruin

Reading all the way through this collection proves a grueling, humorless trek, not unlike watching Andy Warhol's 320-minute film Sleep (1963). Best reserved for fans of Sleigh's poetry.

The Others

For ambitious poetry collections and established Rohrer fans.

Galaxy Love

Although this book quickly follows In Beauty Bright, which might leave readers wondering how fresh these poems feel, these ultimately thoughtful narrative recollections from and about the poet himself should do well in most general poetry collections. [See Prepub Alert, 10/24/16.]

There Now

Grennan here achieves what he set out to achieve: a purpose found in the poem titles (e.g., "things in the vicinity" and "with rainbow and two ravens"). Bring on more life! An accessible selection for general readers.


Ultimately, despite comparisons, this work contains none of Simic's dark charm and humor.

Bright Scythe: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer

Overall, it is not whole poems, which at times are stilted, directionless, or overly somber, but lines that are revealed as this poet's lifelong strength (e.g., "The mailbox shines calmy, what is written cannot be taken back"). In the last half of the book, the poems settle, grow calm, and stray less into the unconscious as reverence takes over, rendering the reading experience quite ordinary.

Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems

Lacking a coherence across the sections, this title reads like two separate books.

How To Be Drawn

Though Hayes is an important author to consider, his work here doesn't always measure up.

The Tijuana Book of the Dead

As Whitman's masterpiece can attest, such an outpouring necessitates some failures in the mix. That said, readers won't dispute Urrea's storytelling ability, as many of these poems are efficiently packaged narratives of seemingly real people at the real border, burdened with desire and pain and oppression, and even routine; nor will they be able to dispute this book's tremendous, thumping heart.

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