Whether honoring a dead friend or reveling in the lustful music of insects, whether on a Costa Rican bus “hot enough to contain all desire” or on a BART train abundantly full of experience and memory, whether delighting in the wacky wisdom of kids or ruing the silly hunger of adults, Ras’s poems poke into unlikely nooks and invented crannies. Lines that find their start in the seemingly personal reach out toward questions that matter to everyone, how to laugh, how to hope, how to love.
Charles Harper Webb worked for 15 years as a professional rock singer and guitarist and is currently a licensed psychotherapist and English professor. His poems have appeared in such prestigious review publications as American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, Paris Review, and others. Called quirky and a wise-acre, his withering wit is sure to be appreciated even by those who seldom read poetry.
In poems that are at once colloquial and elegant, Perillo strives to bridge the gap between the exuberant voice of the streets and the rarefied voice of literary tradition. Using the long lines and narrative style that have been identified with some of the finest male poets of our times, Perillo tells the stories of female experience with a grim eye for the comic and an ear turned to language’s highest pitch.
Barbara Hamby makes her poems out of jokes, Italian phrases, quotes from saints and philosophers, references to meals eaten and wines drunk.
In a fluid, compelling voice, she sets a stage, peoples it with real and imagined characters, spins them into dizzying motion, and then makes everything disappear as with a wave of a conjurer’s wand, leaving the reader to wonder, “Did that happen, or did I dream it?”
One leaves her poetry the way one leaves a dark theater on a July afternoon, convinced that the ordinary passions really won’t do—they need to be larger, as large as they are in these poems.
“Richard Burton said his father was famous as a miner because he could see the character of the coal. He would look at the face a bit, then hit it hard in the right spot, and tons of coal would fall down. I don’t know if the story is true, but I know it’s true of these poems about that war.” —Jack Gilbert
“These are trenchant, wrenching poems. With artistry and honesty they perform an inquest into war and its corrosive after effects.” —James Tate
“Doug Anderson is one of the bravest poets I know, utterly uncompromising. His language brims with compassion, rage, tenderness and pain. The Vietnam war is his primary subject, rendered here with a startling clarity of image and understanding, a wrenching intimacy born of experience. Anderson is cursed and blessed with memory, and his considerable poetic gift assures that…[more]
From the turbulent landscape of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the promise of that era and America’s loss of innocence, to a world where barbeque can be Fed-Exed across the country through a simple toll-free request, Bowman’s first collection of poetry celebrates community and the beauty and miracles of everyday life.