Mortal Trash
BOOK REVIEWS

Mortal Trash

REVIEWED BY AMANDA HILDEBRAND

Mortal Trash is a collection of handfuls: odes to old friends and family members, instructional poems about what poetry isn’t, simple pleads for answers. There’s a eulogy at the end, as if we’ve just died. We all follow Addonizio to heaven: “I saw God/ in a cumulus cloud./ Angels gathered on my library card.” And the big-kid concept of death is now so simple: a face in the clouds, a small square of plastic in your pocket.

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Bruja
BOOK REVIEWS

Bruja

REVIEWED BY AMANDA HILDEBRAND

Following Excavation: A Memoir and Hollywood Notebook, Wendy C. Ortiz’s third experiment in memoir, Bruja, is a similar manifestation of Ortiz’s self-evaluative journeys through the magic and mystery of inner consciousness. When presented with this dumping-ground of a one-time blog project, in which she recorded detailed accounts of her own dreams over months, composed of “threads” of themes and narratives instead of a followable structure, Ortiz and publisher Michael J. Seidlinger termed the book’s genre as “dreamoir.” In Bruja, Ortiz reminds us of the peculiar ways dreams present themselves: as symbols, as images, as reflections, as reminders themselves, each wrapped in an unconscious narrative that makes all dreams seem not only familiar, but connected. Ortiz lets her dreams speak their own surreal, uncertain truths, revealing inner worlds of memory and witchcraft that bound beyond their dream-forms.

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Dated Emcees
BOOK REVIEWS

Dated Emcees

BY AMANDA HILDEBRAND

Poet, activist, educator, and spoken word/rap artist Chinaka Hodge has gifted us with her first book, Dated Emcees, and shows us how hip-hop’s biggest names are history’s most tragic lovers, cheaters, victors, and martyrs, spitting and singing side-by-side with us in this terrible love game. Hodge takes us through her dating history of ex-emcees and emcee-exes a poem at a time, one for each lover and lesson, bouncing between the boundaries of literature, verse, and memoir.

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Dead Lions
BOOK REVIEWS

Dead Lions

REVIEWED BY NEELI CHERKOVSKI

Poet A. D. Winans is a native San Franciscan who came of age during the heyday of the beat generation in his hometown. The beat poets along with Kenneth Patchen and Charles Bukowski had quite an influence on the direction he would take in his own poetry. It’s a poetry of the streets and a poetry of the common language, going back to Walt Whitman. Over the years, Winans has written about some of his literary heroes, always with passion, always with a deep understanding of how the tradition of poetry is passed hand-to-hand down the generations. It is a great moment to see a few of his essays, or portraits, collected in one volume.
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