Jamie Sharpe’s second poetry collection Cut-up Apologetic explores our society’s fear of aging and the reasons why we constantly mourn our lost youth. With brutal honesty, his poems point out how our fear of aging is linked to a fear of immortality. As people, we want to leave our mark on the world—a mark that would allow us to live forever, long after we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. In the collection, the author uses finely honed sarcasm when he explains why we, as a society, are so insatiable in terms of buying material goods: we’re afraid of being forgotten and we consume without a second thought in an attempt to soothe our souls.
Despite the author’s honesty, he is not above critiquing his own lifestyle and freely admits that he’s often fallen prey to corporate America’s arbitrary rules about aging and discrimination as well. In the end, Cut-up Apologetic is a melancholic look at the foibles of modern society, and it explores our struggles, fears, and our desire to be remembered for ages to come.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re sick of poems that go on and on or are too happy-go-lucky, then you’ll definitely enjoy the biting tone of Agostino Scafidi’s Fancy Pants Poetry. Unlike other poets, Scafidi’s pieces wield the art of sarcasm with a practiced expertise that will leave you feeling as if you’ve been verbally scalded. Dark humor runs rampant throughout his poetry as he muses on life’s bleak outlooks and cynically ponders the question “What is the point of the human experience?”
However, despite the often snarky nature of his poems, there’s also a sense of rebellion, and oddly enough, a feeling that despite life’s curveballs, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel, if only we have the patience and courage to keep going. For example, he points out that even though we all desire to fit it, sometimes it’s a futile effort. Still, Scafidi is incredibly blunt in pointing out that some people aren’t ready to hear the truth and uses biting humor to showcase how foolish their efforts are.
Despite the sarcasm, Scafidi’s philosophical thoughts reveal the complexities of life and remind us that as long as we can laugh, even if we have to use dark humor, everything might work out in the end.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, February 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Erin Belieu’s fourth poetry collection Slant Six takes the reader deep into the heart of modern Southern American culture and allows them to gain a new understanding. Mixing politics and pop culture, Belieu’s poems criticize the negative social constructs and elegantly shows how modern Southern culture is still affected by a long history of social injustice. However, her South is not tinted with rose colored-glasses; instead, she admits her own culpability in the system and points out that no one is innocent. Instead, she explains how our very human complexities and fallibilities have contributed to the myriad of issues that plague the American South and our society today.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, December 16th, 2014||No Comments »|
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Ted Kooser’s new collection, Splitting an Order, shines light on everyday objects and turns them into items worthy of reverence and remembrance. His poems are filled with strange and lovable characters that dance across the pages. It doesn’t matter if they are human or animals; each has a fascinating story to be told. From an old dog who steadfastly stands guard even in the face of the oncoming winter to an elderly couple who relishes sharing a sandwich together, there is a sense that time’s passing quickly and the ordinary moments should be cherished before they are gone.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, November 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Francesco Marciuliano’s poetry collection I Knead My Mommy And Other Poems By Kittens is a hilarious look at the world through the eyes of a fluffy and adorable kitten. While it may seem like a cheesy poetry book at first glance, with a deft hand and a twinkle in her eye, Marciuliano allows cat owners and lovers to get inside the head of their new furry friend as they learn what it means to be an adult.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, October 1st, 2014||No Comments »|
The poems in David Tomas Martinez’s new poetry collection Hustle revolve around the coming-of-age stories of minorities who live in San Diego, California. Many of the situations are based off of what Martinez saw during his own childhood. With careful construction his poetry shows the dark side of San Diego, a side that’s rife with gang activity and family suffering.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, June 24th, 2014||No Comments »|
Instead of writing poetry about nature or falling in love for the first time, Tiffany Atkinson’s third book of poetry, So Many Moving Parts, is an unabashed ode to the modern era and all of our delightfully eccentric ways. Mundane, everyday tasks such as commuting to and from work, traveling to other countries, and even baby sitting are pushed into the spotlight as Atkinson’s lyrical poetry and striking imagery muses on how our modern conveniences can be quite helpful. However, Atkinson is also critical of our modern era and many of her poems show in great detail how it can be difficult to connect with one another in such an unstable physical world.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, June 20th, 2014||No Comments »|