Tuesday, December 1, 2015


[N.B. You can scroll down on blog or click on highlighted titles or names to go directly to the referenced article.]


Neil Leadbeater reviews My Chocolate Sarcophagus by Claudia Carlson

Monica Manolachi reviews Secret Weapon by Eugen Jebeleanu, Trans. from the Romanian by Matthew Zapruder and Radu Ioanid

Burt Kimmelman reviews The Magnificence of Ruin by Sherry Kearns

Eileen Tabios engages wardolly, CORNSTARCH FIGURINE, CHANTRY, LILYFOIL and The Milk Bees, all by Elizabeth Treadwell

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews The Victory of sex & Metal by Barbara Mor

Sandy McIntosh reviews A Momentary Glory: Last Poems by Harvey Shapiro and Living Is What I Wanted: Last Poems by David Ignatow

Neil Leadbeater reviews In The Weaver’s Valley and Fragile Replacements, both by William Allegrezza

Eileen Tabios engages The Gospel According to Judas by Keith Holyoak

Monica Manolachi reviews Ten Songs from Bulgaria by Linda Nemec Foster

Judith Roitman reviews The Book of the Green Man by Ronald Johnson

Neil Leadbeater reviews Jargon by Brian Clements

Eileen Tabios engages SHIELDS & SHARDS & STITCHES & SONGS by Dan Beachy-Quick

Jeff Harrison engages Collected French Translations: Prose by John Ashbery  

Neil Leadbeater reviews Orange Roses by Lucy Ives

Tamas Panitz reviews The Red Dress by Billie Chernicoff

Monica Manolachi reviews Look Back, Look Ahead by Srečko Kosovel, Trans. from the Slovene by Ana Jeinikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson

Genevieve Kaplan reviews Fiddle is Flood by Lauren Gordon; a gunless tea by Marco Giovenale; The Goddess can be Recognized by her Step by Sarah Mangold; Tracks by Logan Ryan Smith

Eileen Tabios engages Come In Alone by Anselm Berrigan

Allen Strous reviews A Good Wall by Katie Hartsock, George Bishop, Linda Tomol Pennisi, and Jennifer Kearns

Neil Leadbeater reviews Sentences and Rain by Elaine Equi

Eileen Tabios engages I Live in a Hut by S.E. Smith

Colin Lee Marshall reviews Petrarch Collected Atkins by Tim Atkins

James Yeary reviews Alien Abduction by Lewis Warsh

Eileen Tabios engages Decency by Marcela Sulak

Michael Boughn reviews KA 21st Century Canzoniere by I Goldfarb

Allen Bramhall reviews Hybrid Moments by Jon Curley

Eileen Tabios engages There Are Words by Burt Kimmelman

Neil Leadbeater reviews Broken World and Testify, both by Joseph Lease

richard lopez Reviews All Hat, No Cattle by lars palm

Eileen Tabios engages A Field Guide to Lost Things by Peter Jaeger

Cem Coker reviews Way Too West by Julien Poirier

Eileen Tabios engages ORIGAMI HEART by Andrea Bates (in Sightline, a book of four poetry chaps)

Karolina Zapal engages ] Exclosures [ by Emily Abendroth

Eileen Tabios engages ACTUALITIES by Norma Cole and Marina Adams

Michael Boughn reviews I Once Met by Kent Johnson

Eileen Tabios engages FLUTES AND TOMATOES: A MEMOIR WITH POEMS and The Color Symphonies, both by Wade Stevenson

Eileen Tabios engages Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America, Edited by Abayomi Animashaun with Introduction by Kazim Ali

Valerie Morton reviews The Invisible Girl by E.E. Nobbs

Eileen Tabios engages Orphan Machines by Carrie Hunter

Judith Roitman reviews The Pyrrhiad by Nico Peck

Eileen Tabios engages Fruits and Flowers and Animals and Seas and Lands Do Open by Michael Leong

Neil Leadbeater reviews HOTUS POTUS by Mark Young

Eileen Tabios engages
 KRAZY: Visual Poems and Performance Scripts by Jane Augustine

Edric Mesmer engages The True Keeps Calm Biding Its Story and After Urgency, both by Rusty Morrison

Eileen Tabios engages SMILES OF THE UNSTOPPABLE by Jason Bredle

Monica Manolachi reviews He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs by Leonard Gontarek

Colin Lee Marshall reviews Lower Parallel by Amy De’Ath

Eileen Tabios engages MORNING RITUAL by Lisa Rogal

richard lopez reviews 66 galaxie by m loncar

Kyle Henrichs reviews cessation covers by Steve Halle

Eileen Tabios engages LEAVING LEAVING BEHIND BEHIND by Inger Wold Lund

Joshua Hussey reviews Velleity’s Shade with poems by Star Black and paintings by Bill Knott

Eileen Tabios engages PASSION by Larry Kearney

Karolina Zapal engages BEAST FEAST by Cody-Rose Clevidence

Eileen Tabios engages COMPOS(T) MENTIS by Aaron Apps

Genevieve Kaplan reviews Alluvium by Erin M. Bertram

Eileen Tabios engages Bad Baby by Abigail Welhouse

Alan Fyfe reviews Ashes and Seeds by Michelle Greenblatt

Eileen Tabios engages MEMOS and
 Double-Edged, both by Susan Terris

Allen Bramhall reviews DAYS POEM (VOLS. 1 & 2) by Allen Bramhall




Monica Manolachi interviewed by Neal Leadbeater

Julia Wieting reviews Fast Talking PI by Salina Tusitala Marsh

Krystal Languell reviews Chinoiserie by Karen Rigby

Kasey Elizabeth Johnson reviews The Tulip-Flame by Chloe Honum

Annick MacAskill reviews For Your Safety Please Hold On by Kayla Czaga

2015 Twig Tree: A Poetics


Thanks as ever to Galatea Resurrects' generous volunteer staff of reviewers. In addition to presenting wonderful feature articles, we feature 80 NEW POETRY REVIEWS in this issue.  

Our offerings this issue includes a new feature: a self-review! I was publicly musing (on Facebook) whether it is possible for an author to review one’s own book without degenerating into comedy, self-deprecation or “Boom. Pop. Wow!”  Allen Bramhall offers one manner by reviewing his own DAYS POEM, Vols. 1 and 2! I thank him for being a good sport, and welcome other authors attempting this exercise for future issues!

With Issue No. 25, GR has provided 1,579 new reviews (including the Self-Review) and 129 reprinted reviews (the latter brings online reviews previously available only viz print or first published in now-defunct online sites). With this issue, we also increased our coverage of poetry publishers by 15 to 559 publishers in 17 countries. This is important as much of the ground-breaking poetry work is published by independent and/or relatively small presses who (by the nature of their work) are not always as well-known as they deserve. 

Poetry has enhanced my love of lists (have I mentioned my Selected List Poem book?) so here are GR's latest poetry-lovin' stats!

Issue 1: 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 39 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice by different reviewers)
Issue 3: 49 new reviews (two projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 4: 61 new reviews (one project was reviewed thrice, and three projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 5: 56 new reviews (four projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 6: 56 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice)
Issue 7: 51 new reviews
Issue 8: 64 new reviews (3 projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 9: 65 new reviews
Issue 10: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 11: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice)
Issue 12: 87 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 13: 55 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 14: 64 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 15: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 4 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 16: 73 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 17: 108 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 18: 104 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 19: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 20: 64 new reviews
Issue 21: 78 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 22: 40 new reviews
Issue 23: 69 new reviews (3 books were reviewed twice)
Issue 24: 53 new reviews
Issue 25: 80 new reviews


I continue to encourage authors/publishers to send in your projects for potential review—note that because we believe in Poetry's immortality, GR does not limit reviews to just "recent" poetry publications. And, obviously, people are following up with your review copies (see below)! Information for submissions and available review copies HERE. Future reviewers also should note that the next review submission deadline is June 30, 2016.

Of reviewed publications, the following were generated from review copies sent to GR:

Issue 1: 9 out of 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 25 out of 39 new reviews
Issue 3: 27 out of 49 new reviews
Issue 4: 41 out of 61 new reviews
Issue 5: 34 out of 56 new reviews
Issue 6: 35 out of 56 new reviews
Issue 7: 41 out of 51 new reviews
Issue 8: 35 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 9: 42 out of 65 new reviews
Issue 10: 46 out of 68 new reviews
Issue 11: 46 out of 72 new reviews
Issue 12: 35 out of 87 new reviews
Issue 13: 38 out of 55 new reviews
Issue 14: 40 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 15: 43 out of 72 new reviews
Issue 16: 49 out of 73 new reviews
Issue 17: 73 out of 108 new reviews
Issue 18: 84 out of 104 new reviews
Issue 19: 41 out of 68 new reviews
Issue 20: 50 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 21: 46 out of 78 new reviews
Issue 22: 30 out of 40 new reviews
Issue 23: 49 out of 69 new reviews
Issue 24: 28 out of 53 new reviews
Issue 25: 66 out of 80 new reviews


The beauty of Blogger is how typos can be corrected at any point in time.  If you see any typos, feel free to let me know as I can still correct them even after the issue's release.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Galatea Resurrects!

Eileen Tabios
Dec. 1, 2015

P.S.  And of course: HAPPY HOLIDAYS from all of us at Galatea!



My Chocolate Sarcophagus by Claudia Carlson
(Myrmaid Press / Marsh Hawk Press, 2016)

Claudia Carlson was born in Bloomington, Indiana and has lived in Manhattan since the age of 22. She majored in English and Art History at SUNY Stony Brook and most of her working career has been spent as a graphic artist designing book covers and interiors in publishing houses. She is married to the playwright and lyricist James Racheff. Both her daughters, Natalie and Caitlin, are involved in the arts.
Her first volume of poetry, The Elephant House, was published by Marsh Hawk Press in 2007. This was followed in 2013 by a photo / poetry book called Pocket Park. Both books were well-received.
The present collection comprises 22 poems plus a sequence of five poems dedicated to a close friend and fellow writer. All of these poems are of an intensely personal nature written during a time of hospitalisation when undergoing palliative care for terminal cancer. They are brave poems from a poet who is not afraid to express her emotions. One of the many strengths of this collection is that the poems look outward rather than inward – they are poems that are addressed to family and friends and the outside world. The dedication says as much. The poems in this collection are remarkably calm and life-affirming. Some of them are even humorous. All of them are beautiful in their own engaging way.
The title juxtaposes chocolate with death. It is as if death is something that melts in our mouths –and, as a title, it is undeniably original. Some hold that death is life’s greatest adventure, the soft-centre of bliss. Carlson certainly softens the edges with this unique take. Her hope is that we all go out in style. Love is all that matters in the end. The first poem in the collection, "Wellspring," picks up on this point. It comes from the rich and bountiful source that informs all of her writing:

I am giving things away
Love mostly
It feels so good
My heart does not empty.

Inevitably there are poems in this volume which are set in the context of cancer and of medical care. Titles such as "First MRI," "2nd Brain MRI" and "Random Abdominal Tumours" speak for themselves but even here, Carlson eschews positive thinking. Undergoing magnetic resonance imaging, she closes her eyes and summons up a swarm of bees. She hears

stillness in the roar
the hum is louder than you think...
I watch the bees pulse in and out of clover
it could be summer again
I could be well.

The poem "Hospitality" is also skewed towards the positive. As the title suggests, it is a poem that is more about engaging with other people than it is about the place where it is written. The entrance to the hospital is described as "The Porch at the End of the World." Porches are thresholds to another place. They are also signifiers for the Stoic School of Philosophy (from the painted porch in the Agora of Athens, where Zeno taught). The image ties in neatly with the author’s own stoic attitude towards her situation. She makes reference to the other people who are described as "guests" (not patients) and of how they all "discuss sunsets with authority" when they are "hale enough to rise and see them." She may long to feel the air outside but she can still appreciate the beauty of a sunset.
In "The Body Takes the Soul for a Walk," Carlson shows us how a shaft of sunlight across the floor gives her a sudden awareness of the cycle of the seasons and how much they mean to all of us. "I need another spring," she writes, "I need another spring." There is sunlight in the next poem, too, which is, for me, one of the most beautiful poems in the book. This is the poem called "Venus on the Hudson" – a wonderful evocation of innocence and experience when she looks back to her 17-year old self

running tenderly on the pliant grass and thrusting roots
hiding finding in the shadows my lover, my self
flinging ourselves in the light we forget everything
but our incandescence
in the field behind the school
years later I found we had an audience.
I can’t be embarrassed.
It wasn’t me but the spirit of summer.

Remembering the good times is life-affirming. In "Fuck Cancer 2," she tells us that her distractions are "novels, chocolates, wine, flirtations..." and who would argue for one moment with that? Forced at times to confront her condition, she stoically states in language that is  plain and powerful:

The body goes on as well as it can
until it can’t.

The line-break, coming where it does, changes everything.
The sequence of five poems addressed to her close friend Deborah is very moving and speaks of the regret that "life is so short. Was I insufferable?" she asks at one point, and then adds:

I try to be sincere, dying demands it.

There is humour in this collection, too. In "Pickup," Carlson gives us an amusing account of her mother’s foreign cars which were "prone to metal fatigue." On such occasions, when the

little car would bang or choke and go slow
and slower still... we’d coast to the curb
of human kindness.

Carlson plays cat and mouse with her readers over the title here; is the poem about pick up trucks or pickups? Writing this poem at this particular time, is there not also an unspoken analogy about the failings of the human body?

"Agony Aunt’s Toolkit for Young Women" is another poem that is full of robust humour. It‘s a kind of self-help kit for her daughter Caitlin "for tinkering with common assholery." The poem titled "Living It" is equally amusing and written for her other daughter, Natalie.

In "Sweet Dreams," Carslon once more accentuates the positive. It is poems like this that make the collection a real winner.

...I believe in fall afternoons.
The yellows of the leaves are lemons
Against the blue and gray tablecloth of sky.
How lucky I am despite weakening.

In closing, I would like to return to the Deborah poems and to these two lines in particular:
            We each bring all our possibles
To the last hour.
This is exactly what Carlson has done with this book of poems. They are a last-flowering of something beautiful from someone who clearly has so much to say about LIFE. A thoughtful parting gift to family, friends and readers. May you go gently into that good night.

Neil Leadbeater is an editor, author, essayist and critic living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His short stories, articles and poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals both at home and abroad. His most recent books are Librettos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, Scotland, 2011); The Worcester Fragments (Original Plus Press, England, 2013); The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives (Poetry Space, England, 2014) and The Fragility of Moths (Bibliotheca Universalis, Romania, 2014).