Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Reviews from AU Students and Alumni


As part of course requirements at Ashland, many students write book reviews.  Some students have had their reviews published while others have become strong reviewers and have gone on to review books regularly.  Here are a few recent book reviews published by Ashland University MFA students and alumni. 




Devotions by Bruce SmithDouglas Rutledge's review of Devotions by Bruce Smith appeared as an e-review in Rattle: "In his most recent book of poetry, Devotions, Bruce Smith introduces us to a jazzy, Whitmanesque meditation on our past that teaches us sweetly about our tendency toward self-destruction and enables us to mourn for that which we have destroyed. In Devotions, Smith also harkens back to a Renaissance genre and a Renaissance poetics to help Americans grieve their recent history. With these classical and contemporary tools in hand Smith manages to create a healing narrative in a distinctly poetic fashion...." Read more...

Barbara BenoitTouch by Henri Cole reviewed Touch by Henri Cole for Issue 61 of Shenandoah: "In the absence of end rhymes, the voice in each of Henri Cole’s otherwise sonnet-like poems rises like ether from moist, cold ground. The separate parts mingle and merge, doing what the title suggests: they touch. Like a transparent vase, the poems are given just enough architecture for the naked experiences to appear within them. While his colloquial, accessible voice makes the poems easy to read, they are emotionally difficult because he offers the reader an unblinkered glimpse into his reality..." Read More...

Grace CurtisMake Yourself Small by Michelle Brooks reviewed Make Yourself Small by Michelle Brooks for Rattle's e-review section: "You might think of Michelle Brooks’ volume of poetry, Make Yourself small, as the lyric portrayal of Eminem’s Detroit, complete with trailer courts, suicide, rape, violence, death, and guns. The collection evoked a sense of toughness often associated with West Texas and Detroit. Yet the poems drew me in despite their consistently dark subject matter. What kept me reading was not only Brooks’ skillful writing, but the way she conveys a poignant truth about how we adapt to life by forging our unique response to its difficulty..." Read More... Visit Grace's blog here: http://n2poetry.com/

Joan Hanna regularly reviews books for Author Exposure. Recent reviews include We The Animals by Justin Torres and Night Swim by Jessica Keener. Visit Joan's blog here: http://writingthroughquicksand.blogspot.com/

Jen OchsteinTownie by Andre Dubus III reviewed Townie by Andre Dubus III for Brevity: "I haven’t spoken to my dad in more than twenty years. Of course he hasn’t contacted me either, but I suspect that this may be my life’s regret. My parents divorced when I was two, and Mom was awarded sole custody. But when my brother was eleven and I was nine, we lived briefly with Dad because Mom was homeless. Once we were sheltered, Mom moved to Wisconsin to follow a lover and to find work and a home. Six months later we told Dad we wanted to live with Mom, so he drove us all night from Indiana, dropped us at her doorstep, and told her he never wanted to see her again. I don’t remember what he said to me.  So when I read Townie by Andre Dubus III, I felt a twinge of jealousy..." Read More...

This Morning by Michael RyanJoey Connelly reviewed This Morning by Michael Ryan for Rattle: "Some poetry collections make me wonder why people read poetry in the first place, especially now when our technology supplies us with constant and immediate access to every conceivable medium of expression. Tech companies fall all over themselves to give us pocket-sized gadgets that will let us YouTube comedians between e-novel chapters. What distinguishes poetry now? Can it compete with other media, and if so, how? After reading Michael Ryan’s This Morning, I’m not sure what to think about the status or future of poetry." Read More...
Cover 
Marilyn Bousquin reviewed Bring Down the Little Birds by Carmen Gimenez Smith for Literary Mama: "When I was in labor, at the height of contractions I began to scream, 'Mama! Mama! Mama!' in a voice I did not recognize: I had never in my life called my mother 'Mama.' Yet, despite my delirium, I experienced a surge of strength beyond muscle, reason, determination. Time and space collapsed, the nurses and midwife stopped whispering the word Caesarean, and I delivered my son vaginally despite the mounting odds." Read More...




Ted Kluck reviewed The Joy of Calvinism for The Gospel Coalition: "I would wager that the vast majority of reviews you read about this book will start with some kind of wisecrack about how “joy” and “Calvinism” are mutually exclusive (yuk yuk), since growing up “Calvinist” has resulted in some of history’s greatest personal-religious meltdowns. Calvinists aren’t generally known for being a fun-loving group of people, unless your idea of a party consists of downloading sermons all night and then having long theological debates about dead Puritans..." Read More...

No comments:

Post a Comment