Wednesday, September 27, 2006



Texture Press
Norman, OK

H.T. is now a professor of English at Kutztown University (PA) and has been an co-editor of the influential journal 6ix. In this volume, bright pink cover with blue flyleaf, done masterfully by Texture Press, the weaving undercurrent of thought and language are on full display. Interesting sense of poetics.

It’s My Body
Denise Duhamel
Egg in Hand Press
Chicago, IL

These poems could easily be called her ‘Barbie’ poems – some good work, great imagery and bright pink cover. Egg in Hand Press didn’t spend terribly much on the production of this chapbook however; the text is “hairy”, as a poet I know pointed out in another chapbook done on the cheap. Ms. Duhamel has created quite a body of work of which this is not to be overlooked. I believe some of these poems have appeared elsewhere in her “canon”.

Tonguing Crooked Ample
Ralph LaCharity
Ostowegowa Press
Kent, OH

In 1998, when I was developing the idea for the poetry festival called Bardfest, the one that occurs in Berks County, PA, one of the first poets who signaled interest in participating was Ralph LaCharity. He has for years been a fixture in Cincinnati, Ohio poetry scene. He played drums and often performed with a group. He had a series of chapbooks and Tonguing Crooked Amble was one of them. There are collages by the poet inside front and back of book. A pink sash across the cover. The chapbook consists of a few poems and longer explanations of his art (poetry) and Art in a more general appreciation. In particular, the final piece, on Performance poetry is insightful and informative;

“The Audience for Poetry is most frequently in a condition of prey,
wherein Poetry stalks the Audience. In Performance, Poetry is
haughty to the point of sadism. The Audience is Victim & must
defend itself howsoever it can. The only defense is comprehension,
but no Audience comprehends fast enough.

Anyone with an interest in how this Performance Poet seems the develop of the art form within the context of our hyper-fast lives needs to read this piece.

Walt Disney is Frozen and Mickey House is a Millionaire
Edward Francis
Leonard Gontarek's
City Book Shop
Philadelphia, PA

Leonard Gontarek has established himself from the very beginning in Philadelphia as someone on a mission. One of his missions, perhaps one that grew from his time running City Book Shop was the publishing of chapbooks. This is a well made chapbook, awkward title but hey…the clipart of a workman with his lunch box is priceless on the front cover. The poems are consistent. The paper used is really nice. As they say in the business, “Nice paper”. 30 pages.
I don’t know the author, don’t know if he is even in Philadelphia any longer but this is worthy of getting a signed copy if that is possible.

I am Going to Walk toward the Sanctuary
Kelley Jean White, MD
Via Dolorosa Press
Cleveland, OH

Kelley White has written over 1,200 poems and has a number of chapbooks in print. This one, I am going to walk toward the sanctuary, is among those. A Yellow cover with cover art by Paolo Sorrentino, the volume feels rushed. Not the work itself, although some pages have as few as eight words on them, but the production itself. The book wasn’t trimmed which allows for a raising of the pages toward the middle fold of the book. There is no info on Kelley White in the book and if I didn’t know her already, I would have no idea how to contact the author; other than to contact the publisher. The Imprint, Nepenthe Books, is a division of Via Dolorosa.

I got my copy from the author and there is no price on the book so I don’t know how the distribution for it worked. It’s an interesting read. And for those of you collecting Kelley’s work, and you should, this is definitely one to get. Better ask her for them though.