“Facing a Lonely West,” by Helen Losse

Reviewed by William Aarnes Two poems in Helen Losse’s new collection, Facing a Lonely West, stick in the mind. The playful “Poetry as Sloe Gin” offers a number of metaphors for poetry, suggesting that “Coleslaw generates some poetry upon occasion” and that “Poetry is the whole / of a schoolboy, not a select part.” The […]

“Half a Man,” by Bill Glose

Reviewed by William Aarnes For me at least, as someone who knows few people involved in the armed forces, one striking bit of news in Bill Glose’s Half a Man comes in the poem “Invisible.” The poem relates how, after a soldier dies in conflict, the spouse loses housing privileges.  We are all familiar with […]

August Read of the Month: “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers,” by Frank X Walker

Reviewed by William Aarnes One of the shortcomings of the recently published Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry is its failure to include poems by Frank X Walker.  Perhaps the reason that a sampling of Walker’s poems does not appear is the kind of poems he writes.  The editor of the […]

February Read of the Month: “Sheer Indefinite,” by Skip Fox

Reviewed by William Aarnes Skip Fox’s Sheer Indefinite ranges over many topics.  Early in the book a poem describes events in Louisiana in terms of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.  There are poems that worry about how well words relate to the world (“This language is broken playground equipment”).  There is a sequence of poems […]

“Karma Crisis,” by Nathan Brown

Reviewed by William Aarnes Nathan Brown’s Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems (Mezcalita Press 2012) is an accessible, easy-going collection. Typically, the speaker in the poems seems to be Brown himself. A “wayfarer,” “a flaming liberal-hippie-type,” a “Hopeful cynic,” he is dismissive of Language Poets, postmodern theory, the Southern Baptist Convention, politicians, corporations, and the […]

William Aarnes

William Aarnes has had poems in Poetry, The Southern Review, and FIELD.  He teaches at Furman Univeristy.