to be hung from the ceiling by strings of varying length
by Rick Reid
New York: Black Goat, Akashic Books)
Rick Reid’s debut collection is an experiment in which the page itself is a “frame that superimposes itself temporally, aurally, and visually.” The text of each page appears in a sparse free verse between two centered black dots, which give the effect that the collection is a single page with changing text, “producing a process of both afterimage and surfacing.” The text of the collection is less interesting than its conceptual foundations, but in the current age of evolving print culture the book raises interesting questions about the physicality of ink on paper, of the material construction of printed poetry.
Globetrotter & Hitler’s children
by Amatoritsero Ede
Black Goat, Akashic Books
The first, “globetrotter,” is a wanderer’s reflection on the city of Toronto, and the second, “hitler’s children,” is about the poet’s experience of contemporary Germany, framed within his vision of its “enabling, overarching ‘neo-liberal’ political atmosphere.” Both poems contain glimpses of genius, but the first is ultimately better than the second. Amitoritsero’s strength lies in his succinct marriage of image and abstraction. His spatial descriptions are superb. From section c: “photographer you have no perspective wide as the autobahn” and from section d: “what does the endless / north american sky / reveal /like those sex workers in amsterdam’s love quarters / she says simply / i am wide open.”
The politics of the second poem are organic rather than forced, and at times — as in the leading segment, “The Skinhead’s Lord’s Prayer” — the poems are simultaneously humorous and tragic. An impressive debut by the Nigerian-born former Hindu monk, a truly successful contemporary practitioner of the long poem.
Culled from molossus blog
September 15th, 2009
Jon Paul Fiorentino awarded 2009 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry
August 1st, 2009
Amatoritsero Ede publishes much anticipated book