Category Archives: Briefly Reviewed

Beasley / Biespiel / Jensen / Friebert

A short look at: Bruce Beasley’s Theophobia  (2012), David Biespiel’s Wild Civility (2003), Laura Jensen’s Memory (1982) and Stuart Friebert’s Funeral Pie (1996).

One of the (oh so many) things that drives me nuts about statements like, “I don’t like poetry” or “I could just never get into poetry” is the underlying idea there that poetry is a single thing. It’s like saying, “I don’t like movies” or “I don’t like food.” Just because I can’t stand beets (I really can’t stand beets) doesn’t mean I’m going to write off all red foods, or all food. You could say a strawberry and a beet look sorta the same, couldn’t you? But the taste?

One of the things that struck me reading these four collections (all of which I like) is how vastly different their use of language is, what a nice spectrum of diction they represent. Friebert and Jensen all use very everyday vocabulary. In “Pocket Gopher,” Stuart Friebert writes, Continue reading

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Three Collections, Briefly Reviewed

Woman in the Painting by Andrew Hollander Budy, Troubled Tongues by Crystal Williams, and Things That Happen Once by Rodney Jones.

Woman in the Painting by Andrea Hollander Budy

Andrea Hollander Budy is a recent transplant to Portland from the Ozarks. I heard her read at one of the Mountain Writers series readings at the Press Club (a nice little bar in SE Portland; all the crepes and sandwiches are named after writers). This collection, full of well-made poems, is from 2006. I second Maxine Kumin’s blurb about Budy’s “impeccable conversational diction” and Stephen Dunn’s nod to her “subtly registered emotional world.” Continue reading

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