“In her collection, Ben-Oni humanizes the study of physics, from stars to particles: how can we fit into a world we cannot see, does it matter if our reality is not as real as we once thought, and do our deep feelings of loss, joy, and grief mean anything when placed against infinite space?” Mark Spero on Rosebud Ben-Oni
“Olzmann writes with a penchant for allegory and ethical dilemmas, but these poems avoid parable or pat answers.” —Risa Denenberg
Poetry Northwest’s new podcast, Seconds. In this episode, Keetje Kuipers talks with Iain Haley Pollock about his second book, Ghost, Like a Place.
life / remains / in the shape / of prayer
And the fear, held in equal measure.
For Dust Thou Art by Timothy Liu Southern Illinois University Press, 2005. $14.95 No bland heterosexist suburban poems of backyard sparrows here, Timothy Liu’s latest book, For Dust Thou Art, offers a smorgasbord of impudent isms: onanism, terrorism, “jism,” and solipsism. Titillating perhaps, but stick to the salad bar. The book’s title from Genesis 3:19 misleadingly window dresses a store of randy words, from “good head easier to get than a vintage Merlot” from the first section of the book to “linen falling off our laps as boytoys bathe” from the last section of the book. They sandwich some unsurprising poems in the middle that fetishize 9/11—“A fireman’s boot / exhumed at last—strange trophy / from rubble still too hot to touch” or “Every possible pleasure to be indulged for the world was at an end.” The middle section’s mediocrity begs the question: what of the failure of any poet so far to achieve a “Wasteland” from 9/11? While these poems may stimulate, they fail to surprise, much less catalyze new understanding of people and …