I did an earlier post about being lit and one of the chapbooks I’m going to talk about today could easily have been included in that post, but I had not finished it yet so here it is: When the Only Light is Fire by Saeed Jones.
The poems have a variety of fires burning: passion, fear, guilt etc. But, underneath the powerful stories and heat is simply the power of language. My favorite poem is titled “Mississippi Burning” but I’m going to link you to the first poem in the collection so you can get a taste and then finding yourself in need of this chapbook.
Besides the books I’m reading right now and the few I’m reviewing right now I still have 24 books in paper on my shelf. My summer goal is to finish them. Can I do it?
Maybe not if I stop every time to discuss them, but that is part of the fun. Like the chapbook Coal, Baby by Anne Clinard Barnhill. I’ll be reading with Anne this Sunday at Park Road Books in Charlotte so I look forward to having her sign it for me!
What surprised me reading this collection was the sneaky way the word “pearl” kept re-appearing. A pear, the irritant and jewel of the oyster; coal, the prize and problem of any town that finds it in its hills. What a juxtaposition.
My favorite poem in this collection is probably “Good-bye, West Virginia.” I couldn’t find it online, but I found the title poem on Anne’s website so you can get a taste of her work and see if it is calling to you.
Those are my reviews for today. One of my favorite things about chapbooks is finding these little connections, looking under the surface, to see the hidden connections that we – as writers – often make (consciously or not).
Have you guys read any chapbooks lately? Feel free to share!