|The Cow with the Subtle Nose by Jean Dubuffet, 1954.|
The three reviews I wrote and published this year (one more to come, most likely in October):
Wedlocked: the Perils of Marriage Equality by Katherine Francke, at Lambda "Comparing African-American rights with LBGT rights is risky. Is it too strong to say that every group and individual with a grievance feels free to compare their plight to that of people-of-color’s? Everyone’s pain is real, absolutely and unequivocally, but the stories don’t always line up. My argument is illustrated by the two couples portrayed on the book jacket."
Trance by Debora Lidov, on Luna Luna Magazine "Debora Lidov’s short collection, Trance (Finishing Line Press, $14.49), contains poems of surprise, elegance, originality, wit, irony, beauty, dark humor, precision, pain, and lyricism. That is a long praise-list and could set up a reader for impossibly elevated expectations, but the high-stakes’ focus of these poems makes anything less than a full layout of its attributes a little lame."
Cancer Angel by Beth Murray, at Lambda "Murray’s is poetry that makes the body holy, that illuminates the dark. Diagnosed with advanced breast cancer when she was in her forties, Murray didn’t “struggle with it”-–a phrase often used to frame cancer patients’ experience of the disease. This sharp poet sidesteps, well, more like leaps over sentimentality or cliché. The images can be searing. In “scar,” for instance, the defacement speaks for itself, literally and brazenly: “scar across my chest says have done battle// scar across my chest says have been cut.”