Elevate Difference

Reviews by Michelle Tooker

Michelle Tooker lives in Philadelphia where she works as a marketing writer for Arcadia University. She has been writing for her entire life. Also a poet, Michelle recently completed an MA in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in several literary journals, including Ampersand Literary Review, Foundling Review and the Schuylkill Valley Journal. In addition to writing she is an avid traveler and has been to more than 35 countries.

The Livelihood of Crows

In her latest collection of poetry, Jayne Pupek, who brought us Forms of Intercession, shows that she still knows how to rivet readers. The Livelihood of Crows swells with fresh phrases and unique images, making it difficult to select just a few favorite lines from the collection.

Burning of the Three Fires

Burning of the Three Fires marks the third collection of poems from Jeanne Marie Beaumont. Beaumont, who won a National Poetry Series award for her first book, experiments with form and examines the female condition in her latest collection. The result is a vibrant mix of poems that keep readers turning the pages and analyzing the words before them. “Girl on a Scale,” though not atypical in form, vividly depicts an eating disorder.


Elyse Fenton’s first book of poems, Clamor, features some of the finest contemporary poetry on war. She captures both the battlefield and the homefront with an unwavering realism. Her imagery is fresh and her language rich. Fenton opens her book with a definition of the word “clamor” which is quite striking.

Calyx (Summer 2010, Issue Vol. 26 No. 1)

Serving as a forum for women’s creative work, Calyx, a literary journal of art and literature, has been publishing new, emerging and established female writers and artists for the last thirty-four years. The seventy-fifth issue celebrates Calyx’s success and progress, while showcasing the journal’s continued commitment to providing readers with an eclectic mix of poetry, short stories, photography, and other work.

Find the Girl: Poems

Lightsey Darst’s first book of poetry, Find the Girl, offers a haunting look into the world of womanhood. She explores the missing and the murdered, the tragic (Helen of Troy, Atlantis), and the everyday girl who is discovering herself. A number of Darst’s poems contain a true-crime slant, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I Was the Jukebox

As a poet myself, it’s inspiring to come across a writer like Sandra Beasley. Not only is she highly talented, but she’s also a young, female poet who has already published two book-length collections and received national recognition and awards. In her latest collection, I Was the Jukebox, it’s easy to see why she’s so successful. From the first page to the ninetieth page Beasley blends refreshing imagery with unique diction. She mixes myth and modernity.

New Collected Poems

Combining eleven of Eavan Boland’s books, New Collected Poems presents readers with her finest work. Boland, a contemporary Irish poet, guides readers across thirty years of her work in this 307 page tome. During the journey, one begins to traverse tradition, grasp snippets of myth, and peer inside the life of this extraordinary woman. Most of Boland’s poems are written in traditional forms, which give her work a smooth consistency.

Smoove Lines: A Birthstone Bangle in Sterling Silver

For those who can’t seem to find unique (and affordable!) jewelry that isn’t of the sort sold in droves at retail chains, The Pretty Peacock is your answer. Self-proclaimed “Head Bird” Ana Talukder Simpson says The Pretty Peacock believes jewelry should evoke emotion, capture a memory, or tell a story; it’s not just about what matches with your outfit. Smoove Lines is a perfect example of this mantra.

Resin Art Necklace

The oil-in-resin necklace from native Californian artist Michelle Stitz is a unique piece unlike anything I have come across. The pendant is in the shape of a cube measuring 1.5 by 1.5 inches. Inside the cube is an original painting made of layers of oils, paint, and resin. Mine resembles a conch shell colored with gold and a deep red, and outlined in black.


Monadnock. Ochers. Moraine. These are some of the terms you’ll find while reading Emily Wilson’s Micrographia. You will find yourself consulting Webster’s a lot. Unless, of course, you know a great deal about isolated rock hills and unconsolidated glacial debris. Heading spinning yet?

Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration

Elizabeth Alexander’s Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration captures the essence of hope. Alexander unites all readers through illustrations of day-to-day activities. She begins “Each day we go about our business/Walking past each other, catching each other’s/Eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.” This opening stanza illuminates the monotony of daily activities by breathing new life into them.

40 dayz

Staying true to her moniker Motion, Wendy Braithwaite’s _40 dayz _ takes readers on a fast-paced word journey. Doubling as a spoken word poet and hip-hop artist, it’s no surprise that Motion’s poems are full of a rhythm often unattainable by most poets. The subjects she writes on seem to develop their very own heartbeats—some thunder while others throb slowly. Of the many subjects Motion covers, a primary topic is, of course, female issues. "Wombstory," a chapter in this collection, includes five poems that examine womanhood. "Blues" transforms the act of sex into a musical experience.


Wrongkong bounces through the speakers with a mix of haunting electronic and club sounds. They defy typical song structures through their use of daring beats and tempos, which makes their self-titled debut album both energetic and soothing.

Chocolate Hazelnut Massage Candle

Babeland—a top sex toy retailer—offers plenty of bedroom additions perfect for making that next romantic night more memorable. The company prides itself on being female-friendly and encourages women to explore all areas of their sexuality. Customers can privately shop from their home computers or venture into one of their stores in New York, Seattle, or Los Angeles. Their aromatic massage candle is one of their more traditional yet intriguing products. As the candle melts, luxuriously scented massage oil forms.


While the interesting paper lion on the cover of Candylion – the new solo album from Super Furry Animals front man – may attract you at first, the soothing melodies are what will keep you listening.

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan)

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan) is everything you didn’t anticipate. This ex-model uses her newfound filmmaking skills to take viewers behind the scenes of this not-so-glamorous lifestyle, and - instead of teaching us how to become a model - she teaches us how to recover from modeling.