Cover page Musical Figures

Musical Figures

poems by Samn Stockwell

From PSOV member and author of the critically-acclaimed books, Theater of Animals and Recital, is a poetry collection in which memory is recollected. With 5 distinct and lucid sections, this poetry book revives the authors’ childhood dreams and nightmares, masterfully penned. Poems in this collection have appeared in Ploughshares, Anomaly Literary Journal, Chaffin Journal, and others.

Musical Figures

https://www.thirtywestph.com/shop/musicalfigures#reviews

ISBN -13: 979-8-9861105-6-1
84 pp., July 28th, 2023
Cover artwork by Knox Peters
Cover design by Josh Dale

Reviews

“In Samn Stockwell’s collection, Musical Figures, moments of family history are relayed in crisp narratives fueled by lyricism. The combination of storytelling and musical phrasing result in poems both powerful and true. Above all, the voice is captivating: revealing everything in an understated manner, no matter the violence or catastrophe encountered, so that the reader leaves this hard-bitten, hardscrabble life with a sense of optimism and even well-being, as the speaker has remained calm, compassionate and credible, a survivor, and these are the hallmarks of her work.”

—John Skoyles, author of Driven and Yes and No

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Chapbook cover Hard Feelings _ McCarthy

Hard Feelings

Book Review by David (daithi) Hartnett

Hard Feelings by Elizabeth McCarthy
finishinglinepress.com (2024) poetry
ISBN: To be released on March 1, 2024
Price: ($15.99 until January 5th) $17.99, 34 pgs

In Elizabeth McCarthy’s new collection, Hard Feelings, the poet is immersed in the natural world that surrounds her. As in her previous collection, Winter Vole, the relationship is one of interdependence. Her capacity to observe, reflect, and validate flora and fauna about her is keen. Wittingly, she extends natural tendencies to her pets, to her family, and to herself.

McCarthy’s humor and irony draw the reader to these poems, as in “Afternoon Nap”, where she and her pets take a rest, but she warns us not to rouse “a room/full of hungry beasts.” In “Carrying Seeds” she is reminding us to “step lightly/and look closely at the seeds/with feathers, and all fallen/ beauty returned to the earth.”

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Book cover One Bent Twig

One Bent Twig

Book Review by George Longenecker

One Bent Twig is a worthy addition to the poetry of trees. Not only does Knoll sow words; she also plants actual seeds: “I have planted forty-five trees, with hope / that each wears its crown in a grace.”

~ George Longenecker

click on the title above to read the review

Be sure to support member authors by purchasing a copy of their book(s.)You can order copies of Tricia’s book online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  Also, look for member books in your local independent bookstore( if not available, suggest they support Vermont poets and stock them.)

Book Cover "Beastie" Poems

Geza Tatrallyay

“Beastie” Poems

We are pleased to announce the publication of “Beastie” Poems (Cyberwit, 2023) by PSOV member, Geza Tatrallyay.

My sixth poetry collection, “Beastie” Poems has just been published. It focuses on the wonder of animate species around us and how we are driving them and ourselves to extinction. A good gift for all ages!

~ Geza Tatrallyay

In his newest collection Geza Tatrallyay writes with wonder and anger about many animal species. This is a new and collected volume, with some poems from his earlier five books of poetry. As in Extinction and Extinction Rebellion, the theme is the climate crisis and its toll on so many species. Tatrallyay’s amazement with animals of all kinds is tempered by the fear and guilt he feels about worsening human destruction. These are not easy poems to read, as they are full of foreboding about extinction and catastrophe. At the same time the author is a keen observer who writes with sensitivity towards the natural world.

The haikus are my favorites; he’s good at the form and its irony

An army of ants
cleans my countertop of crumbs.
Why would I crush them?

His sense of wonder extends to the ants as well as herons, mosquitos, squirrels, the long-gone mastodon, turtles and snakes. In almost all of these poems he warns the animals and seems to be asking their forgiveness for what humans are doing to their habitat. Despite his pessimism, he never forgets how beautiful our planet is.

Lighting my way home,
fireflies float among the trees—
stardust from heaven.

~Review by George Longenecker

Staring Too Closely

Book Review by George Longenecker

With masterful poetry and poignant imagery, Erika Nichols-Frazer dares to write powerfully personal verse. In “Warming Up” her wood fire is an extended metaphor for the pain of an ectopic pregnancy. She says “I don’t have words for how it hurts,” yet her words make pain alive for the reader:

      I hunch into myself, become as small as I can, try to get warm.
      The fire’s being chewed out from the inside too.

She says in “Post-Op,” “I come from women who know how to hurt, / how to bear weight far greater than their own.” In “Mother’s Day, 2013” she writes of the personal pain of a day far from perfect. In her doubt and weeping she shows us love and forgiveness at their best.

     My heart breaks every day

     On my way back to work from my second visit of the day
     I see a sign outside a flower shop that says

     Mother’s Day Is Coming
     Is Your Mother Special? Buy Her Flowers!

     And cry so hard I have to pull over.

In “Deer Season” she ponders her ambivalence about the annual hunting ritual. “A body hangs, hooked, from the neighbors shed/ A flash of red and bone-shiny insides/…A reminder that I do not belong here.”

“The List” was written before the latest war, about the 2014 school massacre in Pakistan, yet it could be any of the many wars and school shootings so far this century. Good poets focus on personal tragedy, and leave analysis to news media. The list tells it all. However, it might have been good to have a brief footnote about the place and date of this horrific event.

      148 names are tacked to the wall
      in lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

      148 names too fresh for headstones
      memorialized only on a sheet of paper
      daring the crowd of parents to look.

These are personal poems about mind, body and loved ones. These are views from the poet’s window but also of a prescient world view. Erika Nichols-Frazer has done well on her journey to master poetry and her inner self. These poems are consistently well- crafted. Let the poet have the final word in her title poem, “Staring Too Closely:”

      Pilfer pockets for leftover time.
      In the hours escorting dawn to doorstep,
      the low frequency tremors hum in new light,
      claiming to be as they appear,
      their scent foreign to the morning.

~George Longenecker,

Poetry Society of Vermont Past President

Staring Too Closely cover

Staring Too Closely
Erika Nichols-Frazer
Main Street Rag (2023) poetry
ISBN 978-1-59948-970-4 54 pages, $14 (+ shipping)
https://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product-tag/erika-nichols-frazer/