There are witty, clever poets and there are deep heartfelt poets, but few combine the two talents as brilliantly as Clela Reed. How can two covers contain both the rapier wit of "Rectangles" and the gut-searching depths of "Farrowing"? And yet Reed's book not only contains these polar opposites but entertains us from start to finish. Recommended for all current residents of planet Earth. Dan VeachMore info →
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 →