Book Reviews

  • Kasey Jueds’s “The Thicket” reviewed by Jane Zwart

    “The thicket / swells with secrets,” Kasey Jueds writes in the poem “Unbidden,”
    Issue #123 November 2021
  • Sean Thomas Dougherty’s Not All Saints Reviewed by Sonia Greenfield

    Sean Thomas Dougherty’s Not All Saints, his thirteenth full-length collection
    Issue #122 October 2021
  • John Wall Barger’s “Resurrection Fail” reviewed by Cameron MacKenzie

    John Wall Barger Resurrection Fail. New York Spuyten Duyvil 2021. 100 pgs.   Director Michael Mann, when asked why he used digital cameras for his films, said that he preferred the technology because it enabled him to “see into the night.” It was the digital format, Mann insisted, that made the darkness feel most “alive.”   I am often reminded

    Issue #121 September 2021
  • Robert Alexander’s “Finding Token Creek” reviewed by Sonia Greenfield

    Finding Token Creek: New & Selected Writing, 1975-2020 Robert Alexander White Pine Press April 2021 ISBN: 978-1-945680-441   The Sacred and Mundane: A Review of Robert Alexander’s Finding Token Creek   If the title of Robert Alexander’s New and Selected, Finding Token Creek, reminds you at all of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, that would be apropos. Much as

    Issue #120 August 2021
  • Worldly Things by Michael Kleber-Diggs reviewed by Jane Zwart

    Review of Worldly Things. Michael Kleber-Diggs. Milkweed. June 8, 2021. $22.   Worldly Things is the name of Michael Kleber-Diggs’s first collection of poetry, and the phrase “worldly things” also gives one of the poems in the book its title. Preceding that poem, though, the writer shoulders the label himself. He writes:   Our moment here is small. I

    Issue #118 June 2021
  • The Hölderliniae by Nathaniel Tarn reviewed by Devin King

    My favorite book by Nathaniel Tarn was not written by Nathaniel Tarn.
    Issue #119 July 2021
  • Music for the Dead and Resurrected by Valzhyna Mort reviewed by Chelsea Wagenaar

    Valzhyna Mort’s Music for the Dead and Resurrected is unlike anything else I can remember reading for a long time.
    Issue #117 May 2021
  • Review of Steven Cramer’s Listen by Andrea Read

    That time when one can no longer wander away
    Issue #116 April 2021
  • PETITION by Joyce Peseroff reviewed by DeWitt Henry

    Carnegie Mellon University Press 2020 $15.95 78pp. paper ISBN 978-0-88748-861-6   Joyce Peseroff has been a personal friend since she served as Ploughshares’s poetry editor and managing editor.  Her first collection, The Hardness Scale (1977), had just come out.  She edited The Ploughshares Poetry Reader as well as her own issue, enlisted Donald Hall to guest edit and worked with

    Issue #115 March 2021
  • John Wall Barger Reviews That Was Now, This Is Then by Vijay Seshadri

    “Eternity,” Heraclitus wrote, “is a child playing checkers; a child’s kingdom.”
    Issue #114 February 2021
  • Favorite Books from 2020

    Plume has a number of talented editors, and given the extraordinary year the world faced, I thought asking them for some of their favorite books of 2020 made sense, as a means of creating space for other voices and perspectives beyond mine and Chelsea’s, but also as a way to showcase more books than are typically possible in a “traditional”

    Issue #113 January 2021
  • The Clearing by Allison Adair reviewed by Chelsea Wagenaar

    THE CLEARING Allison Adair Milkweed Editions, 2020 79 pages. $22, hardcover.     Allison Adair’s The Clearing opens with two words that haunt the book: “What if.” The title poem, which initiates the collection, imagines, through familiar fairy tale imagery, that our lives unfold as stories wrought with these what ifs. What if this time instead of crumbs the girl

    Issue #112 December 2020