Saturday, January 16, 2010

spare as space

Here's a new review of The Alps from The University of Arizona Poetry Center e-newsletter, written by Bonnie Jean Michalski.

Also, there's this from the print world:

"Shimoda uses the full page, bumping up against left and right margins, sometimes both in the same poem. Punctuation is as spare as space is plentiful, which makes the poems feel all the more delicately orchestrated, as if the words were set down deliberately one letter at a time to resonate with both sound and sense, within and beyond the page's margins. The double columns create movement within an established field, and because the poems vibrate with war references, the columns suggest tension and opposing forces. The formal play might say that one manner of managing something unmanageable, chaotic, or wretched--like war--is to break it down into parts (bombs and butter and blue flowers and tongues), float it sideways from its context, and peer at it closely. The line folded into the first poem, "I wish the arrangement would formally buckle," feels epigrammatic and expressive of intention as much as desire."

--Jacqueline Lyons in the Colorado Review, summer '09

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