Poetry

Filling In The Black: One Woman’s Journey of Re-education

Joan Kantor (Joan Kantor)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

Filling in The Black: One Woman’s Journey of Re-education by Joan Kantor is a collection of thought-provoking, oftentimes poignant poems that capture the painful experience of the color line and what it implies for humanity. Kantor's voice joins those of icons like Langston Hughes to denounce the inhumanity and the inequality of equal men, solidly opposing racism in all its forms. These outstanding, lyrical, and intelligently crafted poems brilliantly portray the empathic voice of a white woman who stands against racism. She doesn't hesita...

Penelope’s Purple Passions

Penelope Chaisson (Evoke 180 LLC)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

A dazzling collection of love poems, Penelope’s Purple Passions by Penelope Chaisson is divided into four parts — The Egg’s Innocence, The Larvae’s Sincerity, The Pupa’s Paradigm Shift, The Adult’s Climax — symbolic of the journey of a butterfly and telling of the human experience of love. The butterfly is Penelope who falls in love and is thrilled by the experience. But then as she matures, she begins to understand that love can be more than just what she feels, opening her heart to its beckons and discerning the call to grow as she matures in...

Doctoring in Nicaragua

Greg Stidham (Finishing Line Press)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Slim and poignant, Doctoring in Nicaragua by Greg Stidham is a collection of twenty-three short poems that capture the author’s experience as a pediatric ICU physician. In turn observant and lyrical, the poems capture unique moments with the personae, parents grieving the loss of a child, the joy of watching a child recover, or the moment caught between hope and despair while “ the irregular heart / strikes the syncopated / backbeat of the bass lines, / borrows from the undercurrent / of the blues: blue lips, / blue fingertips.” The p...

Poems From the Wilderness

Jack Mayer (Proverse Hong Kong)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

An ode to nature and the wilderness, this collection of 55 poems is a celebration of the natural world as seen through the human eye. This book is about the age-old human connection with the flowers and the trees and how observing it leads to a connection with the Divine. A few of the poems are an inside look into the poet’s childhood and family, tying in with his deep connection with the woods and the great outdoors. Jack Mayer looks for the sacred in the smallest of creatures in the memories of his hikes and reveres God’s presence in everythi...

Kaleidoscope of Colors II

Robert A Cozzi (Independently published)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Kaleidoscope of Colors II by Robert A Cozzi is the sixth collection of poems that feature a variety of themes, including nature, loss, hope, grief, love, and friendship. These poems range from tongue-in-cheek observations about life to a wry, nuanced exploration of emotions and feelings. Written in a style that is free and captivating and infused with strong imagery, the poet offers a deeply moving and personal experience of human emotion, from pain to bliss, from encounter to deep loss. Blazing and insightful at the same time, Kaleidoscope of...

Trees & Truths

Anntonette Jackson (John Van Der Woude, @jvdwdesigns.com)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

Trees & Truths by Anntonette Jackson is a poetry compilation that takes readers on a delightful journey through nature, exploring lessons of growth, self-assurance, and acceptance. Whether it’s society’s role or manufactured lies that are hindering our growth toward self-acceptance and self-assurance, Jackson has addressed all the issues that we might be facing in our journey toward advancement - both mental and emotional. Inspired by her walks through the trees, Jackson presents the idea that our discovery of the truths and knowledge of n...

The Ugandan Tales

Victor Rumanyika (Victor Rumanyika )

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Even after the independence of Uganda in 1962, Uganda still struggles to break free from the shackles of colonialism. The African rulers are hypocritical as they preach freedom and liberation but continue to oppress their people under the guise of leadership. The Ugandan people have been waiting patiently for these immoral leaders to give them their fair rights. Ordinary Ugandans now persist through non-violent and peaceful means in modern times. These poems by Victor Rumanyika tell the story of an unyielding regime and the routi...

THE MISSING ANGLE

Karine Leno Ancellin (Riza Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

To honor and thank her Athenian poetry society, Karine Leno Ancellin writes a series of wonderful poems differentiating the society of today from that of the past. Our relationship with technology and how it has infiltrated and affected even the smallest aspects of our lives are written as observant poetic verses by Ancellin. This collection of poems is relatable to everyone as it picks out the instances our minds ignore as we get accustomed to technology in our day-to-day lives. The poems share the conflicting thoughts of the author as she sho...

Sensing

Diana Haemer (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

Following Diana’s journey through her teenage years among the turbulence of emotions and key milestones in life, Sensing perfectly captures the writer’s openness to life and honesty. “An Ocean of Endless Wonder” from the collection may seem like a simple poem at first glance but it contains deeper currents that will awaken life in the heart of the reader. The imagery is exceptionally written and the author’s use of metaphor enriches the selection. For instance: “The darkness of the sandy floor / And deepness of the wave troughs / Frig...

Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief

Meg Nocero (She Writes Press)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

As a forty-year-old Italian American woman is going through the painful and transformative process of saying goodbye to her mother who is losing her battle against breast cancer, her life takes an unexpected turn. What comes next is something no one can be prepared for. As a butterfly, she will transform into the woman she was meant to be, and this book speaks eloquently of that transformation.  Nocero goes through a journey of self-discovery through grief as she takes readers al...

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