Presenting engagements (including reviews) of poetry books & projects. Some issues also offer Featured Poets, a "The Critic Writes Poems" series, and/or Feature Articles.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


[N.B. You can scroll down on blog or click on highlighted titles or names to go directly to the referenced article.]


Cat Tyc reviews THE TATTERS by Brenda Coultas

Deborah Poe and John Bloomberg-Rissman engage To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader (2 vol. set), Eds. Thom Donovan and Brandon Shimoda

Richard Lopez reviews missing the kisses of eloquence and Coming Ashore on Fire, both by Michael Dennis

Laura Carter reviews Called by Kate Greenstreet

The Rev. Dr. Thomas C. Marshall reviews Pregrets by Anselm Berrigan

Sarah Sarai reviews Woodnote by Christine Deavel

April Joseph reviews not so, sea by Mg Roberts

Joel Chace reviews Justified Sonnets by James McLaughlin

Eileen Tabios engages As They Fall by Ivy Johnson

Sheila Bare reviews What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned by Sherman Alexie

Laura Carter reviews Hello, My Meat by Daniel Beauregard

Neil Leadbeater reviews Port Light: A Hay(na)ku Collection by William Allegrezza

Sally Heggeman reviews Organic Furniture Cellar by Jessica Smith

Eileen Tabios engages DON’T LET ME BE LONELY: AN AMERICAN LYRIC by Claudia Rankine

Michael S. Judge reviews Schedule of Unrest: Selected Poems by John Wilkinson

Min Gu Kim and Jongyoon Choi review The Coal Life
 by Adam Vines

Veronica Montes reviews The Descartes Highlands by Eric Gamalinda

Eileen Tabios engages Selected Amazon Reviews by Kevin Killian, Edited by Brent Cunningham

Neil Leadbeater reviews Vuelo Subterráneo / Subterranean Flight by Mario Melendéz

Sheila Bare reviews Salu-Salo: In Conversation with Filipinos: An Anthology of Philippine-Australian Writings, Edited by Jose Wendell P. Capili and John Cheeseman

Tom Beckett reviews Sixty Morning Talks by Andy Fitch

Eileen Tabios engages STATE OF THE UNION by Susan Lewis

Neil Leadbeater reviews The River Is Rising and Where The Road Turns, both by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Eileen Tabios engages TREMBLING HAND EQUILIBRIUM by Barry Schwabsky

Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey reviews As We Know by Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch

Eileen Tabios engages BRASH ICE: NEW POEMS by Djelloul Marbrook

Zaki Refai reviews Eunoia by Christian Bök

Ole Kauert reviews Eunoia by Christian Bök

Neil Leadbeater reviews Home and Away: The Old Town Poems by Kevin Miller

Jonas Schallenberg reviews PERSEPOLIS: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Parker Bryant reviews The Tapeworm Foundry by Darren Wershler

Eileen Tabios engages Driving to the Bees by Maggie Schwed

John Bloomberg-Rissman engages Homage to Etel Adnan, Edited by Lindsey Boldt, Steve Dickison & SamanthA Giles

Parker Bryant reviews The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Jonas Schallenberg reviews The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Eileen Tabios engages The Loveliest Vein of our Lives by Neil Leadbeater

Jonas Schallenberg reviews Meanwhile by Jason Shiga

Zaki Refai reviews Meanwhile by Jason Shiga

Billie Chernicoff reviews A Poetry Reading by Brenda Coultas Reading The Tatters on Heart’s Content Road

Tom Beckett interviews Márton Koppány

Richard Lopez interviews Stefan Hyner





Garin Cycholl reviews Uncontainable Noise by Steve Davenport

Meriwether Clarke reviews The Tribute Horse by Brandon Som


Thanks as ever to Galatea Resurrects' generous volunteer staff of reviewers. In addition to presenting wonderful feature articles, we feature 53 NEW POETRY REVIEWS in this issue.  

With Issue No. 24, GR has provided 1,499 new reviews and 125 reprinted reviews (the latter brings online reviews previously available only viz print or first published in now-defunct online sites). With this issue, we also increased our coverage of poetry publishers by 24 to 544 publishers in 17 countries. This is important as much of the ground-breaking poetry work is published by independent and/or relatively small presses who (by the nature of their work) are not always as well-known as they deserve. 

We’re also delighted to encourage young critics!  Included in this issue are several reviews by high school students from Indian Springs School in Alabama, a private school that includes grades 8-12. Along with a review published in the last issue (by Zach Choi, Andrzej Richardson & Jeffrey Simonetti), the reviews in this issue (by Sally Heggeman, Min Gu Kim, Jongyoon Choi, Ole Kauert, Jonas Schallenberg, Parker Bryant and Zaki Refai) were written for Douglas Ray’s “The Writers Workshop” or Jessica Smith’s “Experimental Literature Class.”  Great job, teachers!

Poetry has enhanced my love of lists so here are GR's latest poetry-lovin' stats!

Issue 1: 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 39 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice by different reviewers)
Issue 3: 49 new reviews (two projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 4: 61 new reviews (one project was reviewed thrice, and three projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 5: 56 new reviews (four projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 6: 56 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice)
Issue 7: 51 new reviews
Issue 8: 64 new reviews (3 projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 9: 65 new reviews
Issue 10: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 11: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice)
Issue 12: 87 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 13: 55 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 14: 64 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 15: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 4 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 16: 73 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 17: 108 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 18: 104 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 19: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 20: 64 new reviews
Issue 21: 78 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 22: 40 new reviews
Issue 23: 69 new reviews (3 books were reviewed twice)
Issue 24: 53 new reviews


I continue to encourage authors/publishers to send in your projects for potential review—note that because we believe in Poetry's immortality, GR does not limit reviews to just "recent" poetry publications. And, obviously, people are following up with your review copies (see below)! Information for submissions and available review copies HERE. Future reviewers also should note that the next review submission deadline is Nov 15, 2015.

Of reviewed publications, the following were generated from review copies sent to GR:

Issue 1: 9 out of 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 25 out of 39 new reviews
Issue 3: 27 out of 49 new reviews
Issue 4: 41 out of 61 new reviews
Issue 5: 34 out of 56 new reviews
Issue 6: 35 out of 56 new reviews
Issue 7: 41 out of 51 new reviews
Issue 8: 35 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 9: 42 out of 65 new reviews
Issue 10: 46 out of 68 new reviews
Issue 11: 46 out of 72 new reviews
Issue 12: 35 out of 87 new reviews
Issue 13: 38 out of 55 new reviews
Issue 14: 40 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 15: 43 out of 72 new reviews
Issue 16: 49 out of 73 new reviews
Issue 17: 73 out of 108 new reviews
Issue 18: 84 out of 104 new reviews
Issue 19: 41 out of 68 new reviews
Issue 20: 50 out of 64 new reviews
Issue 21: 46 out of 78 new reviews
Issue 22: 30 out of 40 new reviews
Issue 23: 49 out of 69 new reviews
Issue 24: 28 out of 53 new reviews


The beauty of Blogger is how typos can be corrected at any point in time.  If you see any typos, feel free to let me know as I can still correct them even after the issue's release.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Galatea Resurrects!

Eileen Tabios
May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 2, 2015


CAT TYC Reviews

THE TATTERS by Brenda Coultas
(Wesleyan University Press, 2014)

The Tatters is Brenda Coultas’ homage to “poet’s hero” & friend Brad Will, who she describes as an anarchist, activist, Indymedia reporter, freight train hopper, squatter, fire-eater and poet who was murdered while filming political events in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006. While reading this, it felt impossible to not think about what it means to be an activist. I found myself metaphorically passing the word ‘activist’ back and forth in my hands. Any time I felt I was certain of what I thought it meant, I would find that meaning almost instantly dissolved like handfuls of sand escaping from my fingers.

These filaments of escape are the ‘tatters’ in which Coultas explores, “I, ephemera, carrying my chemical burden/ I, ephemera, once paper becoming plastic becoming digital or /I, ephemera holding the space/ I, ephemera, hold the space.”

This section represents Coultas’ particular style of documentary poetics, more interested in the first person perspective of being on political ground and using language of inclusiveness – ‘hold the space’- to give the reader access to her view on the ground and in conversation with her friend.

Another example of Coultas’ view is when she speaks to the specificity of Will which is harkened in the piece “A Mass For Brad Will”, where she writes, “If I were a handsome feather, I’d walk to City Hall/ In full plumage & release all of Manhattan’s political prisoners/ If I were a quill, I’d give you life / On this quiet page.”

This phrase speaks to a certain parallel that runs through out the entire piece. It speaks to the generous spirit of this man that Brenda bears the responsibility of carrying, not only in memory of him, but also as an attempt to follow through on that generosity by humanizing the emotional struggles of political commitment.

With recent events sparked after the Eric Garner verdict, the activist identity has been on my mind a lot. I knew action was happening based on what I saw on social media & in the news after the fact but anyone I talked to in person said they weren’t actively participating in the actions because ‘they just didn’t have it in them anymore.’

The first time I heard this it struck me (I was having my own conflicts with school & work obligations so it made me a feel a little less guilty) but when it became a constant, I really started to wonder. These people weren’t saying they didn’t care or that they weren’t outraged. Many were trained professional union activist non profit go getters but there was a certain level of exhaustion, both emotional and physical, that they pointed to that made me think.

A couple friends transplanted  from Philly told me they felt they were reliving the time of Mumia protests again. How they phrased it pointed to a hint of trauma that I had never seen a light on in regards to political action.

Then, upon further explanation, the other constant was acknowledgement of other responsibilities competing with politics. Children, non profit jobs and art projects centered around other injustices and physical disability. All issues framing a milieu of their own politics which acknowledges the ying yang nature of a lifetime in activism.

A balance of light and dark that The Tatters toes the line from start to finish.

Coultas’ personalization of Will acknowledges all things hopeful & utopic from the activist lens happens when she says, “When the bicyclists take over the streets / and bring the city / to a standstill, Brad said that / is critical mass

I asked, “ What happens when the city is shut down ?” / He said, “ Then we’ll dance.”

Being introduced to Brad Will in this way makes the End Notes more relevant and special where focus turns towards his journalism and why he did it, his connection to the poetry community and the poem he read at St. Marks Poetry Project on the last New Year’s before his murder.

This accessibility to the activist makes one think of the individuals in our own lives who take politics one step further. The ones who are always on their way to a meeting, an action & asking you to sign a petition in transit. The ones whose name impart a tiny inflection of faith that someone is doing something for this horribly unjust world despite the fact that you just can’t for x, y, z reasons. The ones who introduced us to Marx and took us to that place that introduced you to the revolution that lives within us.

Coultas’ individual political awareness gets equal measure & also points to the darker landscape of invested political activism.  It surrounds her while in the middle of an action against fracking, “The last glass of water sits before you, how fast or slow will you drink it ?”

The ‘tatters’ she speaks of evoke a study of what is happening on the periphery. Of a movement, and of an action. What we want to change and what we have lost.

The unspoken stakes in committing to change this world.

“The water is an hourglass, and I write fast as I can before it runs dry.”

This kind of precariousness that Coultas is describing parallels what Judith Butler wrote about after the birth of Occupy, where she described the specifics of being precarious in a political nature as being “ not simply an existential truth – each of us could be subject to deprivation, injury, debilitation, or death by virtue of events or processes outside of our control. It is, also importantly, a feature of what we might call the social bond, the various relations that establish our interdependency.”

An analysis of connection is what transcends this to not being just one elegy but really more elegy of a constant multiple, friends and water.  This text is a narrative of that particular ‘social bond’, speaking to the friendship between she and Brad Will but also to the relationship that she has, as an activist & human, to the planet and its limited resources.


Cat Tyc is a poet/new media artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Currently she is a MFA Candidate for Writing/Activism at Pratt Institute.