© Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

© Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

by thomas cook

The "Northern Savages" is the way one critic described the Ballet Russes, due to how they evoked the primitive, and the singular or simple, as well as a dash of the unrefined connotation of the word is the spirit in which I hope to animate 4squarereview. Another critic, of the figures in the ballet, wrote in 1913 that there was an "enormous question being carried about by all these creatures moving before our eyes." I've always regarded January as a sort of spring of the mind, an elemental rite, a season of stimulus, and Stravinsky came to me when I thought about our goal here, mainly because we hope to remain unadorned, but without sacrificing evocation. Our primary focus each month will be to present the books of a series a writers and to allow their poetry to be the question that moves around the stage.

In this inaugural issue, we're featuring debut books of poetry by Aaron Coleman and Tara Skurtu, as well as a book that takes its position as the fourth volume in a series by poet, visual, and video artist Kate Greenstreet. Coleman's and Skurtu's books, in very different ways, interrogate the self in relation to history. Reviewer Valerie Duff-Strautman writes that Skurtu's The Amoeba Game creates "the parallel reality" necessary for the creation of self, and Brian Fanelli describes Coleman's Threat Come Close as a meditation on the "the violence inherent in American history." In The End of Something, Tyler Flynn Dorholt claims Greenstreet's poems tap into "the sound of the unsaid."

I hope you enjoy what you read this month, and check back again on the 4th of next month for the reviews of another series of titles.