James Longenbach’s ear for the nuances of diction, tone, stress, and the material aspects of poetry is so good, and his grasp of context and biography so assured, one wonders why the essays so often tie themselves into semantic and logical knots.
David Allen Sullivan has no combat experience here or abroad, but his verse offers a poignant vision of the sights, sounds, and passions of the Iraq War. Matt Kraunelis replicates the landscapes of his hometown, planting the reader’s feet firmly in the Merrimack Valley.
Poems of concise and precise description and philosophy find their way among poems of memory and daily life, money, art, love, and the oddities in giving names. J. Kates’s technique is alive and various throughout.