Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged poetry

The Man From Kinvara

Tess Gallagher's The Man From Kinvara is a richly written volume of short stories spanning the well-known poet and writer’s vast and prolific career. Who knew narratives of such everyday life could be so fascinating and provide captivating images? “The Lover of Horses,” the first story in this collection, is a tale of a family legacy passed on to each generation.

Judah's Lion

I was a bit wary when I received Judah's Lion. Its title and that of many of its poems made clear to me that we were going to be talking about The Almighty, and not in a sort of New Age everything-is-divine kind of way; I’m talking about Old Testament smiting and personal conversations. As a member of the liberal elite who often chuckles evilly as she writes, I had a hard time getting into it at first. Cruddy, I thought, throwing it down. I’ve wasted a good poetry pick on a nurse who writes about Jesus. The second time I picked it up, I read it straight through and loved it.

Magdalene and the Mermaids

After reading Elizabeth Kate Switaj’s collection of poetry Magdalene and the Mermaids, I decided I wanted to know a bit more about her. It turns out that she grew up in Seattle, spent years in Asia teaching English and traveling, lived briefly in Brooklyn, and is now back in Seattle.

Poems from the Women’s Movement

It’s debatable whether collections of work by “women poets” (or, shudder, “poetesses”) are legitimate groupings. I tend to regard these types of collections with a raised eyebrow, imagining a group of women having an outdoor party, having been shut out of some stuffy jackets-required club, now herded together and pushed through the doors all at once to their dismay.

Ex Nihilo Magazine

Ex Nihilo Magazine is an online magazine that was started in December 2006 as a bilingual online publication in English and Bengali for college students. Under the initial chief editorship of Sourya Deb, the small online magazine ran its first issue in January 2007 regrouping and resurfacing the following year. This online publication serves the student population of South Asia and the diaspora with its main focus on art, poetry, photography, and short stories.

Women Writing Africa: The Northern Region

Women Writing Africa: The Northern Region is the fourth in a series of volumes, following The Southern Region, The Eastern Region, and _[West Africa and the Sahel](http://www.amazon.com/gp/pro


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.


“Necesito gritar!” bellows Adele Nieves in response to the question she poses with her spoken word piece entitled “Why Do You Speak?”, which is the first track on the album. Through the unrestrained strength and rage smoldering behind every word, Adele provides a call to action against the overwhelming powers of erasure, invisibility, and silence that is exhaustively pushed upon women of color for centuries. Speak!, an explosive powerhouse of an album created by the [Speak!

Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions

“The year I told my parents I was gay was also the year of my first encounter with depression,” writes Michael Snediker in the opening line of his detailed introduction. This line struck a nerve as I know a few people who, personally, are still on the same boat. I have seen an aunt and an uncle, a lesbian and gay respectively, ostracized by the conservative, über-religious society they live in.

No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial

I have enjoyed reading Mickey Z.’s feisty, politically charged writing in the pages of VegNews magazine and on his website and was excited by the opportunity to review his latest book, No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial. New York City based writer Mickey Z.

Breaking Poems

In her third book of poetry, award-winning Palestinian American poet Suheir Hammad explores the resilience of women’s bodies across borders in a fluid set of poems entitled Breaking Poems. Hammad embraces life at the border, refusing to translate her identity to fit a bounded-identity construct of what it means to be Palestinian or American. She uses a diasporic language, blending anglicized Palestinian Arabic with English.

Submerged: Tales from the Basin

“We’re not popsicles; we’re people,” writes Leslie Gonzalez, one of the contributors to Submerged: Tales from the Basin, a prose and poetry collection about hair and how this physical extension of women’s auras complicates and confirms our place in this life. While reading the eloquent pieces contributed by various writers to create this book that benefits victims of Hurricane Katrina, I was reminded of my own hair, and how my opinion of it has been influen

The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New & Selected Poems

The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New and Selected Poems presents compositions drawn from Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke's extensive oeuvre and includes five new pieces. A native of Greece, Anghelaki-Rooke was the winner of the Greek National Prize for Poetry and the Greek Academy’s Poetry Prize. Her poetry is lusty; corporeal; and rooted in flesh, color and tactile sensation. Verse and prose both vibrate with descriptions of a lush and living Greece.

Reading Novalis in Montana

Reading Novalis in Montana is a collection of poems by Melissa Kwasny that focuses on connections between the natural world, spirituality, and modern life. The title of the collection rightfully implicates nature and Novalis as the inspiration behind the poems.

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.

Brown Bagazine (Issue Four, Spring 2008)

Why do we read poetry and poetic prose? Some people like the unique language. Others recognize the “ordinary” described in a new way. We read poetry, ideally, to change, inside. Gypsy Daughter is a poetry chapbook and literary magazine publishing company. Their intention is to create an attractive physical venue for poets to reach their audience. Brown Bagazine, Gypsy Daughter’s quarterly literary magazine, is such a venue. I laughed with pleasure, when I first saw Brown Bagazine. What a clever idea, this is!

Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns

As a newer reader of and listener to poetry, I often find it overly dramatic or flowery for my tastes. When I started reading Andrea Gibson’s collection, Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns, I was not drawn to her lyrical love poems, which I read too cynically, but as I read on, I was drawn in by her humor, self-reflection, and earnest political analysis.

The Bad Wife Handbook

If in these modern times women had to hide potentially influential books from their husbands and others around them, The Bad Wife Handbook would be included among the silent list traded through some secret alley passage.

The Real Thing: Words And Sounds Vol. 3

Jill Scott was introduced to the world on her aptly titled, brilliant, neo soul debut Who is Jill Scott? (Words and Sounds Vol.1). She co-wrote the classic Grammy winning "You Got Me," performed by The Roots with Erykah Badu, and we've been discovering more of her ever since. With soulful, hip hop poetry style here on her third proper studio release, she continues the trend, but with more jazzy flourishes.

Canon / Verses

Being an Ani DiFranco fan has been a part of pretty much every feminist’s rite of passage since she came on the scene in the early ‘90s with the release of her self-titled album. Now seventeen years, two DVDs, and nearly thirty albums (including remixes, tributes, and live discs) later, DiFranco has simultaneously released a retrospective double-CD and book of poetry that show just how much she has grown personally, politically, and artistically.

The Lyrics

Fanny Howe’s poetry collection, The Lyrics, includes poems that thrive on the lyric poem’s conventions; the poems include both the personal world of the speaker, as well as the universal world. Each poem is also a lyric by itself; each lyric comprises The Lyrics spoken about in the title.

Music for Landing Planes By

Music for Landing Planes By is an intriguing collection of poetry by Éireann Lorsung. Lorsung draws from her experiences studying print making and drawing in Italy and teaching high school in rural France. Her collection of poems is woven together through her thoughtfully crafted verse and repetition of words.

Willow Room, Green Door

Deborah Keenan's new poetry collection Willow Room, Green Door includes selections from her previous books - such as Kingdoms, The Only Window that Counts and Household Wounds - in addition to her most recent work. In a collection that spans a lengthy period of time, the reader gets a lovely sense of inhabiting a changing world with the poet, of walking through time, both historical and personal.


If you love poetry—scratch that—if you love powerfully articulate, passionate prose meant to stir up your inner emotions and inspire you to stand up and create change, then you’ll love the brilliance that queer poet/activist Andrea Gibson serves up aplenty in Swarm. Primarily recorded in a bedroom, Swarm also contains a handful of live tracks that allow the listener to taste the raw energy of her live performance. The self-released album came out in 2004, yet the poignant words, occasionally accompanied by a backdrop of acoustic guitar, cut into you like knives and remain just as rel

When I Met the Wolf Girls

The title of this children’s book caught my eye since my family supports Wolf Park, a local wolf education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana. This delicate story of family and friendship, set in picture-book format, recants the ordeal of two feral sisters discovered in Midnapore, India in the 1920s.


The city that never sleeps. 9/11. Diversity. Pizza and delis. Flash. Cash.

Dredging for Atlantis

Writing is in the eye of beholder, especially when it comes to poetry. This slim book is Tabios' fourteenth collection of poems. It is divided into three parts.

The Amputee's Guide to Sex

Posing as a handbook, The Amputee's Guide to Sex opens up a new world: not of cold lifeless prosthetics, but the raw, quivering beings that lie beyond them. Containing prose poems and free verse, the Guide is sharp and unapologetic, yet simultaneously contains yearning and heartbreak. This book strips our obsession with Being Different/Otherness down to what it feels like from the other side; it's the difference between empathizing and fetishizing.

Andrea Gibson

Activist poet Andrea Gibson rations politics into five easy to swallow pills. Her self-titled five track DVD tackles the touchiest issues for queer activists today. From same sex union in “I do,” to rape in “Blue Blanket” and the hypocrisy of the yellow ribbon in her best performance of “For Eli,” Gibson is definitely on top of all the topics.