All posts filed under: Book Reviews

Longform reviews of poetry books.

Would it help you. Would you open: On Joanna Klink’s The Nightfields

James Ciano | Contributing Writer Joanna KlinkThe NightfieldsPenguin Books, 2020 Appearing midway through the first section of The Nightfields, Joanna Klink’s stark and enigmatic fifth collection, the poem “Givens” begins like this: “We were given a book, and the book stripped / the world down to dirt and to rain, captivity, / color”; it is as if the book Klink refers to is her own, the material object that I am holding in my hand. Rain, captivity, color—the sense is of walls collapsing: between the poet, the speaker, the reader—and something about the interconnection of all present and non-present parties in the experience of a poem (this poem, all poems), which contributes to the osmotic and celestial nature of Klink’s vision in The Nightfields. In this collection Klink solidifies herself as a poet of lyric wonderment, angular beauty, and uncompromising vision. There is something of Merwin—and Strand—in Klink’s gestural approach to interrogating the self’s provisionality, with echoes of the deeply emotive, yet coolly delivered poems of Jon Anderson. At the center of Klink’s lyric resides …