“Magicicada and Other Marvels” by Kathleen Brewin Lewis

The poems in Magicicada and other Marvels (Shanti Arts LLC 2022), a collection by Georgia poet Kathleen Brewin Lewis, are filled with the magic of Southern flora and fauna as the title suggests, yet they are much more than nature poems. Written with an abiding sense of grace and understated wisdom, these are poems meant […]

“The Plinko Bounce” by Martin Clark

Author Martin Clark, a retired Virginia Circuit Court judge, writes an outstanding classic legal thriller with The Plinko Bounce (Rare Bird Books 2023). Like most classic legal thrillers, the hero is a lawyer and the odds are stacked against him and his client in a murder case. There is also a tense trial, and post-trial, […]

“Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility” by Anna Laura Reeve

Intimate, brave, frank, piercing, and wholly dazzling. Just a few initial words to describe Anna Laura Reeve’s debut collection of poems, Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility (Belle Point Press 2023). Reeve writes with an unflinching honesty that all but hurts, and her words cut with a sharp and precise knife. Yet her phrasing […]

“Burning Eden” by Sarah Bewley

Burning Eden (Level Best Books 2023), by Gainesville, Florida, first-time novelist and award-winning playwright Sarah Bewley, is a skillfully plotted, character-driven police procedural with a surprisingly tender heart given the rising death toll. The novel also has an evocative gloss of Southern Gothic about it, adding to its impact and richness. After all, the story […]

Claire Hamner Matturro interviews Sarah Bewley, author of “Burning Eden”

Claire Hamner Matturro: Thank you, Sarah, for taking some time out from your busy and creative time to chat a bit with Southern Literary Review about your debut novel, Burning Eden, and other things too. It’s been a long time since you and I met in Gainesville, FL at a writing conference in which you […]

“Dear Outsiders” by Jenny Sadre-Orafai

Dear Outsiders by Jenny Sadre-Orafai (University of Akron Press 2023) is a vibrant tale of two siblings whose often idyllic childhood on the coastline of an unnamed sea changes abruptly. Written in lyrical phrases encapsulated in short prose poems instead of the more traditional paragraphs and chapters, the collection tells the story of the siblings’ […]