“Tamp” by Denton Loving

At the intersection of calluses and care, one finds Denton Loving’s poetry. In his latest collection, Tamp (Mercer University Press 2023), the author takes us into the pastoral reveries produced by his home state of Tennessee, but he likewise transports us into matters of lineage and love, writing of his parents (predominantly his father) with […]

Treasures in the Dirt: Rachel Custer’s “Flatback Sally Country”

With the blue-collar grit of Philip Levine, the maternal feminism of Lucille Clifton, and the dexterous formalism of Howard Nemerov, Rachel Custer’s Flatback Sally Country is a hybrid of all things enjoyable in a book of poems. From line one of this collection, “All day the sky is a closed fist,” the poet begins taking […]

“Bel Canto” by Virginia Konchan

A reader rarely encounters a volume of poems where every page demands rereading, but Bel Canto (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2022) is just such a book. Virginia Konchan’s fourth full-length collection of poetry sings with the energy of a meaningful church service while simultaneously praising the secular, the cultural, and the overtly human. Employing language […]