April 2012 Staff Reviews & More

Constant Contact
In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
World Book Night
Staff Reviews
More Staff Faves

by Stewart O'Nan

by Esi Edugyan

by Gary Marcus

by Camilla Lackberg
World Book Night 
world book night 2012 The U.S.'s first World Book Night is April 23, and Annie Bloom's is a participating pickup location for those giving away free books that night. Here are just a handful of the excellent World Book Night titles:

by Dave Eggers

by Kate DiCamillo

by Barbara Kingsolver

by Marcus Zusak

by Patti Smith
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April 2012: Staff Reviews & More


We have three new staff reviews for you! Also, don't miss this week's poetry reading. And check out our new Theme section. 
Staff Reviews
To celebrate National Poetry Month, our three staff reviews are dedicated to new collections of verse.

New Collected Poems
by Wendell Berry
Reviewed by Kathy

"...I would like to be a true human being...."   What makes a human being "true"? This is the question that Wendell Berry has answered in the way he has lived his life and in the spare elegance of his pen. Berry has selected poems from across his life that celebrate the gifts of locality, neighbors, knowing and being known. He exults in a passionate and lifelong love of one woman; the feel, scent, sound and produce of his one small piece of this earth, and grieves all those things--global, political, cynical and mechanical--that tear at these essential connections, those "loves that are leaving the world / like the colors of extinct birds..."


Love, an Index 

by Rebecca Lindenberg

Reviewed by Jen

Born of love and loss but built of sheer lyric and narrative sinew, Rebecca Lindenberg's Love, An Index is the stunning debut volume in the McSweeney's Poetry Series. In telling the story of her relationship with poet Craig Arnold, who mysteriously disappeared in 2009 while exploring volcanoes in Japan, Lindenberg re-invents the elegy via lists, cataloging, and indexes that push language to brilliant and unexpected places. If you have loved and lost, if you have felt struggle and have considered how it is to be within and without a relationship, this book will speak to you.   


From "Litany": O you, with glass-colored wind at your call,
and you, whose voice is soft as a turned page,

whose voice returns the air to its forms, send me
a word for faith that also means his thrum,
his coax, and her soft hollow--please, friend gods,
so when he says: You give it all away,
I can say: I am not sorry.


Collected Poems
by Jack Gilbert
Reviewed by Andy

100 great poems When Jack Gilbert titled a collection of poems Refusing Heaven, he meant it. His work is an affirmation of this world and our myriad experiences in it. The gravitas his poems are infused with is infectious. In a poem called "Métier" he states flatly, "I don't write funny poems." He deals with the grand old themes that are threaded through the human condition:


The overcoming of suffering, from "A Kind of Courage":

Until all the world is overcome

by what goes up and up in us, singing and dancing

and throwing down flowers nevertheless.


The dealing with death (of his wife of eleven years), from "Married":

I came back from the funeral and crawled

around the apartment, crying hard,

searching for my wife's hair.

For two months got them from the drain,

from the vacuum cleaner, under the refrigerator,

and off the clothes in the closet.


Passion, love and eroticism, from "The Great Fires":

Passion is a fire of many woods,

each of which gives off its special odor

so we can know the many kinds

that are not love...


His poems are short, emphatic and full of sentence fragments that ground the reader in the here and now. His Collected Poems is a long-awaited treasure trove for fans and includes over twenty previously uncollected poems.

Our final reading in April continues our celebration of National Poetry Month:

Five Local Poets
from Windfall Press
Thursday, April 19, 7pm
100 great poems Join us for a reading by all five authors who have been published by Windfall. Bill Siverly has released four volumes of poetry, including The Turn and Clearwater Way. Barbara Drake has authored several books, including the poetry collection Driving One Hundred. Jutta Dunath and Daniella King's What Remains /Was Bleibt features their translations of German poet Ingrid Gottschalk's works. Michael McDowell's book of poems is The Hundred-Year House.

We've also got plenty of great readings lined up for May: Portland's Woodshop Writers group, local authors Anne Mendel and Leni Zumas, and vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. Check the May Calendar on our website for more info!