REVIEW – Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster by Caroline Hagood
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by Mitch Levenberg
1y ago
Review by Mitch Levenberg Caroline Hagood is an Art Monster, and the more I read her prose and poetry, the more monstrous she becomes. She is Frankenstein, Ursula, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Lady Gaga rolled into one. She is also, by the way, not “in the way,” a mother, but as Hagood declares in her new book length essay, Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing, 2022), the two are not “mutually exclusive.”  “I absolutely find it to be practically a fight to the death,” she says, “to ensure that the duties and expectations of ‘mother’ and ‘woman’ don’t suck ..read more
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[REVIEW] One Person Holds So Much Silence by David Greenspan
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
Review by Nikki Ummel David Greenspan’s debut collection, One Person Holds So Much Silence,explores, at its heart, the relationship between mind and body, and what happens when one- or both- fall apart. The collection opens with, “Poem for a god of my own understanding,” which situates us in the pressing needs of the collection: corporeal existence, mental illness, drug use, and the myriad ways a person can slip through society’s cracks. See how the poem starts with, “Opening my palm on a fence,” and then later, “opening / my knee on a mirror” after “the doctor / sputters up lust small / tabl ..read more
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[REVIEW] SHEER POETRY: Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine, by Nick Francis Potter (Driftwood Press, March 2022)
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
Driftwood Press, 2022 Review by Alan Zelenetz I’m imagining Charles Baudelaire shaking off his signature melancholy and “viewing” his way, for a devilishly delightful hour or so, through Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine, Nick Potter’s new collection of “Comics/Poems” (as it’s category-tagged on the front cover). No question, the nineteenth-century Parisian poet savors his twenty-first-century counterpart’s synesthetic blend of sound-sense-color-image splashing rhythmically across the book’s pages.  And then, just before his return to the past, that sullen Frenchman tenders a nod of approval in f ..read more
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[REVIEW] Bath by Jen Silverman
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
Driftwood Press, 2022 REVIEW BY LILLIE GARDNER A bath can be a lot of things, and Jen Silverman holds a magnifying glass up to each of these meanings and incarnations in her gorgeously wrought poetry chapbook Bath, available May 24th from Driftwood Press. Silverman writes about baths that are baptisms, baths as floods, baths in dreams, baths of dust—all while holding the reader in literal baths of words (the poems are entitled “Bath 1,” “Bath 2,” and so on). From the opening’s pairing of a Bible quote about iniquity with a defiant “don’t fuck with me” line from Joan Crawford, Bath holds the re ..read more
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[REVIEW] Ultramarine by Wayne Koestenbaum
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
(Nightboat Books, 2022) REVIEW BY C. FRANCIS FISHER — The worst kind of reading can become a tussle for tyranny. It is this sort that turns people off of poetry – the feeling that the poet must shroud something important in complicated diction or syntax, dangling a carrot the reader must work to decipher. In this struggle, both author and reader vie for supremacy. The author obfuscates meaning with symbols or other poetic devices, and the reader penetrates the text, lifts its skirt, revealing its hidden meaning through analysis. Wayne Koestenbaum’s Ultramarine, the third and final book in his ..read more
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[REVIEW] Glass Bikini by Kristin Bock
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
(Tupelo Press, 2021) REVIEW BY CATHERINE IMBRIGLIO — In 1949, at a Berkeley symposium on poetry, the young Jack Spicer complained about the smallness of the audience for poetry.  Poetry should be as entertaining as popular culture, he argued.  “The truth is that pure poetry bores everybody,” he said.  “It is even a bore to the poet.” Instead, according to Spicer, poets “must become singers, become entertainers.”   If poetry managed to be more generally entertaining, Spicer thought, it would be less insular, it would have many more readers.  The situation for poetr ..read more
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[REVIEW] Lost, Hurt, or in Transit Beautiful by Rohan Chhetri
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
(Tupelo Press, 2021) REVIEW BY HANNAH RIFFELL — Rohan Chhetri does not write poems for the faint of heart. Lost, Hurt, or in Transit Beautiful is a book divided into four parts, the first of which is titled Katabasis, a word that translates to mean a downhill retreat or a descent into the underworld. True to the word, Chethri opens with a monolithic poem that first evokes a bloody folk story before leading into sharp lament for the poet’s own deceased relatives, a transition that weaves subtle inferences of love into a framework of mortality. If the meaning of Katabasis escaped the reader, thi ..read more
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[REVIEW] A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving by Katie Farris
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
(BPJ, 2021) REVIEW BY LISA LOW — Katie Farris’s A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving (A Net) is a short, powerful book chronicling the emotional voyage and struggle to survive of a woman diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at age thirty-seven.  In twenty-six poems told over thirty-seven pages (the entire chapbook can be read in a half an hour), A Net narrates a sequence of events following the announcement of breast cancer: a revelatory phone call; an MRI; getting dressed on the morning of surgery; sitting in the waiting room after surgery; looking in the mirror and seeing a monster wi ..read more
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[REVIEW] Phone and Pencil by J. Gordon Faylor
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
2y ago
(Lavendula Books, 2021) REVIEW BY CLARA B. JONES — … I worry about you, puckerdash. You were my favorite while you lived, and now that I wait until sunset to congratulate our fathers killed, smokes another so pearly you lost a car accident image “node” to claw waiting to light the candles with a triggering glare you’re crossing the road to post and might find a common mind eating eggs alone to survive. Empty pockets. Back readies weekend not that personally, a master form so long as you keep us real from dome kin post-address play toms on lock wrestle when I wait for bad faith morphology grap ..read more
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[REVIEW] Ghosts of America by Caroline Hagood
PANK Magazine » Book Reviews
by admin
3y ago
(Hanging Loose Press, 2021) REVIEW BY DAKOTAH JENNIFER — Why can’t women write great American novels? What does it mean to be a woman, rewritten by the male gaze, actively striving to tell your own story, imbue your own importance, all while the American canon makes you a fragile, breakable, sexual thing? Caroline Hagood’s Ghosts of America: A Great American Novel demands much of all celebrated, American male writers. Norman Roth III, also known as “Herzog,” is a professor, Vietnam veteran, and well-known American author, visited by the ghosts of women who were the subjects of the novels he’s ..read more
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