These poems walk gracefully together, backward and forward—through the rooms of childhood, motherhood, and widowhood—from a shtetl in Russia and a 1912 steerage class crossing, to homes in the U.S. and Mexico. A master of specificity and musical language, Anhalt enables us to see and hear places, events, and family members’ idiosyncrasies (such as her mother’s infamous Venus flytrap memory). The collection bursts with humor, history, and heartbreak. Perhaps my favorite is “Homesick,” where the poet recalls the first home in Mexico that she shared with her late husband—scorpions / rallied in the bathtub and the bamboo/thrust through parquet floors—and now misses the words stripped from her tongue: the tu and the yo, the you and the me.
—Karen Paul Holmes, author of Untying the Knot and No Such Thing as DistanceMore info →
Atlanta poet Steven Owen Shields is back with a wry look at childhood as it evolved in his family home in 1950s Indiana. The son of an electronics engineer, Shields recounts how his bedtime stories were lessons in reading schematics, and reveals the summer project he and his brothers undertook to build their own atomic bomb using parts from around the house. The first half the chapbook is zuihitsu, or "loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas that typically respond to the author's surroundings." The rest are examples of Shields' prowess with various poetic forms.More info →