A Really Great Review
Every month for the Washington Independent Review of Books, the Maryland Poet Laureate, Grace Cavalieri, author of Other Voices, Other Lives, does a round-up style review of the best recently released independent books of poetry and books about poetry.
June 2019’s review features fourteen books including two of ASP’s upcoming releases, Reuben Jackson’s Scattered Clouds and Linda Watanabe McFerrin’s Navigating the Divide. Featured also are the likes of Tina Chang, Dobby Gibson, and rising star Sri-Lankan poet Indran Amirthanayagam.
Check Out Grace Cavalieri’s Review of Navigating the Divide
McFerrin is author of poetry, travel essays, prose, and stories excerpted for this compendium.
The travel essays got me started. The first that I read, “Strangers,” was the hook. McFerrin has the gift of dialogue and character. She’s also a sexy writer, and a good soul wrapped in a hot body. Her characters are the kind of humans who seem to travel just to meet, and every paragraph is a psychological encounter in visual explorations; also, some social norms get destroyed. This is a compelling edge to the stories. We feel every word she says, because she knows that the details we can taste, smell, and see, are impossible to turn away from. Each essay is a relevant cultural experience with all the intriguing values of a foreign place. I read her as I often watch TV in search of sights I’ll never see otherwise. The added pleasure with McFerrin is she’s “Sex and the City abroad” — fun, chic, with special effects. It’ll take a while reading this book and so it goes on vacation with me — nowhere as fantastic as where McFerrin takes us, however. She’s mastered her art. To be a beautiful hypnotic writer is not a bad thing. She’s a front runner. Check it out.
Alan Squire publishers had a terrific idea here. Why not publish a kind of book no other literary publishing house (more…)