Review of Sower on the Cliffs by Helen Mirkil

Here’s an excerpt of a review I wrote of Helen Mirkil’s new book, Sower on the Cliffs.

Soweronthecliffs_Mirkil

Sower on the Cliffs, Helen Mirkil’s book of poems and original sketches, works on the reader like one of those evening conversations over coffee where catching up with a friend has gone on for hours, yet when it’s time to call it a night, you feel like you’ve just gotten started. That’s because Mirkil’s use of language, mostly direct, gives you a sense of a door opening up before you.
The book is divided into 10 sections, each with only two to four poems bound to a theme. Many of them are family focused, some touch on losses, issues of faith and some tender moments with loved ones. Mirkil leads each section with one of her own sketches.

Like the sketches, black ink outlines, shapes and suggestions of shapes, Mirkil’s poems also follow the less-is-more approach, and that approach yields rewards as well as surprises at times. In poems like “The Station” and “Pressing In,” she offers a few details that act like an invitation for the reader to start making discoveries.

Home again. A knocking

At the screen door,

Parkinson’s. Let it in?

Read the rest of the review here at Philadelphia Stories.

You can buy the book here on Amazon.

Top 12 from Pea River Journal

My poem Objects in Motion made it into Pea River Journal’s top 12 posts over the last year, or something like that. Thanks to whoever’s been reading it.

Pea River Journal is a fairly new pub, and it’s worth checking out. You can find a rundown of the Winter 2013 issue here.

I also had a poem nominated for Best of the Net this year, but I didn’t make the final cut.

Now if only I could make it into Dancing with the Stars.

The Great MFA Debate Continues

” Not knowing something is one way to be independent of it – but knowing lots of things is a better way and makes you more independent. It’s exciting and important to reject the great books, but it’s equally exciting and important to be in a conversation with them. ”

 

From Get a Real Degree by Elif Batuman at The London Review of Books.