Trickster by Randall Potts

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TITLE: Trickster

AUTHOR: Randall Potts

PUBLISHER: University of Iowa Press

NO. OF PAGES: 92

DATE READ: January 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Trickster opens with a crank call to the reader: “How was I to know / You were thin, your garden / Was covered in smoke / That you sat in your house / Coughing?” Over the course of these beautiful and eerily accomplished poems, Potts’s reader is taken on a journey that is at once time-scarred and resolutely contemporary, earthy and haunted, moving from estrangement to reconciliation. Amidst a deepening sense of crisis, the Trickster of Potts’s imagination emerges as aggressor, prankster, victim, and healer, forging resilient music from the afflictions of the mind’s “infested nest.”

Trickster veers quickly from meditation and narrative to song, plunging the reader into a liminal world of dreams, archaic lyrics, and fables, populated with figures ranging from the Hawk and Worm, the Cat and Dove, to Cold and Death. It is a wilderness in which all things are alive: “a blade of grass / equal to the suffering / of a lifetime.” Yet it is also a place of menace, “where a fly with one wing, keeps / tipping over in the grass, where / the ants will have him.” Whether or not the Trickster reaches utopia, he reckons with the world that is achievable on earth and in words, “those dreams of woods / relayed to you.”

REXY’S RATING: 3 stars

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Blue Yodel by Anson Elkins

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TITLE: Blue Yodel

AUTHOR: Anson Elkins, Cal Phillips (Foreword)

PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

NO. OF PAGES: 88

GENRE: Poetry, Fiction

DATE READ: January 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

In this imaginative and haunting debut collection, Ansel Elkins introduces readers to a multitude of characters whose “otherness” has condemned them to live on the margins of society. She weaves blues, ballads, folklore, and storytelling into an intricate tapestry that depicts the violence, poverty, and loneliness of the Deep South, as well as the compassion, generosity, and hope that bring light to people in their darkest times. The blue yodel heard throughout this diverse compilation is a raw, primal, deeply felt expression of the human experience, calling on us to reach out to the isolated and disenfranchised and to find the humanity in every person.

REXY’S RATING: 3 stars

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I, A Living Arrow: Young South African Writing

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TITLE: I, A Living Arrow: Young South African Writing

AUTHOR: Linda Rode, Hans Bodenstein, Maren Bodenstein, Iolanda Oosthuizen, et al

PUBLISHER: NB Publishing

NO. OF PAGES: 120

GENRE: Poetry, Non-fiction, Fiction, Short Story

DATE READ: April 2015

SYNOPSIS:

This anthology is written by children from diverse race, class, and language backgrounds in secondary schools. It offers a snapshot of children”s concerns through short stories, poetry and musings, dreams, disappointments, fears and joys.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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Pity the Beautiful by Dana Gioia

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TITLE: Pity the Beautiful : Poems

AUTHOR: Dana Gioia

PUBLISHER: Graywolf Press

NO. OF PAGES: 73

GENRE: Poetry

DATE READ: June 10, 2015

SYNOPSIS: Pity the Beautiful is Dana Gioia’s first new poetry book in over a decade. Its emotional revelations and careful construction are hard won, inventive, and resilient. These new poems show Gioia’s craftsmanship at its finest, its most mature, as they make music, crack wise, remember the dead, and in a long, central poem even tell ghost stories.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III

TITLE: The Kraken

AUTHOR: Robert Lambert Jones III

PUBLISHER: unknown as of this time

NO. OF PAGES: 21 (according to my Word Processor)

GENRE: Poetry, Fantasy, Romance

DATE READ: July 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from author*

The Kraken is an allegorical poem which tells a story. It is an invented myth or legend which uses creatures recognizable from such stories, and these fantastic beasts are essential to the progression of the plot. They are of symbolic significance, and they serve as foils for the development of the human characters, one of whom also doubles as a representation of something else. The narrative features changes of setting and a number of action sequences.

It is also, by plot, a love story.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars
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Les Pensées: The Thoughts of Lucienne Hollard McKay

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TITLE: Les Pensées: The Thoughts of Lucienne Hollard McKay

AUTHOR: by Lucienne Hollard McKay, Lilian Polk (translator)

PUBLISHER: Victory Publishing

NO. OF PAGES: 117

GENRE: Poetry, Romance

DATE READ: January 25-28, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *my own*

Les Pensées: The Thoughts of Lucienne Hollard McKay  is a republished poetry ebook by Anne Mckay Victory for her father and every other reader in the world. It is a collection of poems written by the deceased wife of Dr. Edwin Mckay, Anne Mckay Victory’s father, the brilliant Mrs. Lucienne Hollard Mckay. All poems were originally written in French but were beautifully translated to English by Ms. Lilian Polk.

REXY’S RATING: 5 stars

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Lullabies by Lang Leav

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TITLE: Love and Misadventure

AUTHOR: Lang Leav

PUBLISHER: Andrews Mcmeel Publishing

NO. OF PAGES: 217

GENRE: Poetry, Romance

DATE READ: December 2014

SYNOPSIS: *my own*

Acclaimed poet Lang Leav’s second published collection of poems and illustrations guaranteed to touch your heart

REXY’S RATING: 5 stars

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