To Shatter Glass

Iron Pen. Sept. 2021. 110p. ISBN 9781640607149. $24. POETRY
Hunter is a longtime professed religious in the Community of Jesus on Cape Cod, a community that has not gone without controversy, including allegations of cultlike operation but has proved a powerhouse of artistic expression, including ventures in choral music, theater, and publishing as the Paraclete Press, of which Iron Pen is an imprint. This collection is truly a collaboration, as the verses are punctuated throughout by the vivid nonrepresentational paintings of Sister Faith Riccio. Hunter’s poems in aggregate make up a loose memoir, in which the poet struggles with the implications of childhood in a home marked by alcohol addiction and other losses and sorrows, at last finding a way to “walk among the daffodils/ inhaling boundless mystery.” There is a poet yet aborning in Hunter, who may become visible as the pain of her early experience fades; there are glimmers of a more distinctive style, promise of a manner as fine as her matter is sincere.
VERDICT Despite its recounting of the author’s early troubles, this volume is a pleasure to read, with its marriage of verse and painting; many readers, especially survivors of alcohol-addicted families, will respond to Hunter’s direct approach.
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