by thomas Cook

In Karla Kelsey’s new essay collection Of Sphere (Essay Press), which we’ll be featuring next month, she writes, “I’m on the hunt not only for an original interpretation but for a whole new book of nature, including the balcony’s basket of artificial flowers.” I’m thinking of this not only because the cadences and momentum of Kelsey’s sentences have been haunting me for the past couple of days, but also because the idea of a new nature resonates with the titles we’re featuring in this third issue of the review.

Transformation, of the voice to assume persona, and of the self to combat violence, is a theme common to Eileen G’Sell’s Life After Rubgy (Gold Wake Press) and Broadax (Octopus Books) by Amy Lawless. Of G’Sell’s voice, Valerie Duff-Strautmann writes, “[t]his singer who starts out, ferocious, an individual and an every(wo)man,” later “emerges open, pure, and luminous, the athlete whose game has ended,” and Brian Fanelli describes the folk-tale-like middle section of Broadax, “The Private Lives of Deer,” as a “sexualized mythology” where the speaker and her lover assume animal costumes.

Appropriately, The Costume of a Hunter by Kate Lindroos is one of the chapbooks Tyler Flynn Dorholt reviews in our first chapbook feature, these three from Factory Hollow Press. In addition to The Costume of a Hunter, whose poems Dorholt describes as “computational lyrics," he reviews the “brusque but comical etches” of Former Planet by Brian Henry, and the “liminal and doleful verses” in Ghostly Glances by Holly St. John Bergon.

Please enjoy the issue and check back with us on the 4th of next month for another series of titles.