Category: Reviews

Review: Thief in the Interior

Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams Review by Jayme Ringleb All of the poems in Thief in the Interior, Phillip B. Williams’s debut collection, are poems in direct conversation with poetic forms and traditions, with poets and poetic movements, or with ongoing acts of violence against both Black and queer lives. The poems also work to narrate the difficult progress of…

Review: The Narrow Door

The Narrow Door by Paul Lisicky Review by Bailey Kimbell Vulnerability spills from Paul Lisicky’s memior The Narrow Door. An atmosphere of exposure hovers over work, relationships, and homes and leaves us with the distinct impression that our emotions and motives are being scrutinized, even as the writer exposes his own. And it’s not entirely comfortable. Lisicky summarizes this startling vulnerability…

Review: The Genome Rhapsodies

The Genome Rhapsodies by Anna George Meek Review by Kelsey Satalino Relatives coo over an infant, his future formed by both his drug-addicted parents’ DNA and the words of family members who have already decided who he will be. Father Gregor Mendel, meditating on the death of his father, shucks peas and gleans theories of genetic inheritance. A bride wearing her grandmother’s…

Review: The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy Review by Eric Schlich Benjamin Percy knows how to write a compelling monster novel. In Red Moon (2013), he uses lycanthropy (werewolves) to explore terrorism, racial profiling, and contagion politics. In his latest, The Dead Lands, Percy re-imagines the Lewis and Clark expedition in a post-apocalyptic America that has been destroyed by super-flu and nuclear…

Review: Call Me By My Other Name

Call Me By My Other Name by Valerie Wetlaufer Review by Emily Faison I’m still not sure if Valerie Wetlaufer has written a history in verse, or simply folded history into poetry, but either way, Call Me By My Other Name leaves readers gasping with both horror and understanding. A news clipping epigraph, rewritten in verse in “Helpmate IV,” shapes the tone…

Review: The Rusted City

The Rusted City by Rochelle Hurt Review by Keith Kopka Peter Johnson, editor of The Prose Poem: An International Journal, defines prose poetry as an intricate balance. He explains, “Just as black humor straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy, so the prose poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry, both heels resting precariously on banana peels.”…

Review: Do Not Rise

Do Not Rise by Beth Bachmann Review by Brandi Nicole Martin When Beth Bachmann released Temper in 2009, she left a violent mark on the poetry world with her elegiac lyrics and her biting lines, lines which tear the universe open for the reader, allowing them to be shaken by haunting images—train tracks, bullet holes in the sky, a sister’s…

Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert Review by Emily Faison By the end of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, my mouth was watering for a fluffy slice of cake. Amy E. Reichert anticipated my craving, including the recipe for the title-famous coconut cake as a bonus at the end of the novel. Just like dessert, where The Coincidence of…

Review: Days of Shame & Failure

Days of Shame & Failure by Jennifer L. Knox Review by Laura Minor Even the lovers of poetry get bored sometimes, and we often bring a little of that disenchantment with us when we sit down to read the new book that came in the mail. But Jennifer L. Knox’s fourth book of poems, Days of Shame & Failure (available…

Now Featuring… SER Nanoreviews

by Kaveh Akbar (Book Review Editor) and John Ebersole   The Southeast Review is very pleased to welcome John Ebersole, editor in chief of Public Pool and former poetry editor for The Philadelphia Review of Books, to write tweet-length nanoreviews of some new poetry releases. You can read his reviews of other poetry titles on Twitter at @ReviewPoetry. Stay tuned…