Book Review: “Tells of the Crackling,” by Hoa Nguyen

Tells of the Crackling, GIANT

I have always found Hoa Nguyen’s poems surprisingly comfortable to inhabit, considering the challenges they can offer, and Tells of the Crackling, a lovely little hand-stitched chapbook from Ugly Duckling Presse, is no different. Spare, elliptical—not exactly breezy, but roomy—these poems are a bit like walking over a brick path gone uneven from the undergrowth, fresh and tentative vegetal shoots sending trajectories of thought this way and that. Indeed, there is a dual “crackling” of both spring and autumn that characterize the poems, a light and almost sickly feel, a mind not quite right, the sound of tea being made in the background. . .

Read the review at NewPages

Book Review: “My Multiverse,” by Kathleen Halme

my multiverse

Kathleen Halme’s My Multiverse opens with a marvelous set-piece, a multi-part cycle (that comprises the entirety of the first section of the six-sectioned book) titled “City of Roses” that begins with that tender invitational, “Dear,” and from there pans its camera over the big and small, visiting with different characters and embracing the ambience of different scenes all within the same city, Halme’s own Portland, Oregon. It’s a gesture in line with the great urban works, likeUlysses, which endeavor to sketch the cultural, emotional, and physical anatomy of a city: “Blocks and blocks of ornate iron-front buildings. / Shanghai traps and tunnels. / Iron horse rings to which someone / has hitched tiny plastic palominos.”. . .

Read the review at NewPages

Bent Beneath the Low Heavens: An Interview with Dan Rosenberg

DanRosenbergDan Rosenberg is a deeply curious poet, experimental, playful, always pushing after new forms and approaches. It’s evident in the books he has published, each of which expresses new talents, from the image-and-voice-driven pieces of The Crushing Organto the tight and angular poems of cadabra to the exuberant sublimity of his latest chapbook, Thigh’s Hollow, which has just come out from Omnidawn. His successes with reinvention give any poet exhausted with “finding one’s voice” a refreshing new outlook: the voice is always right in front of you, part of whatever project you are pursuing.

He is a generous poet and a great conversationalist, and we had a chance for a quick couple of exchanges that got right to it, ranging from Eliot to Wittgenstein, from Nintendo to the Song of Solomon.

Read the interview at Michigan Quarterly Review.