Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Heron Clan VIII Publication


 The Steiny Road Poet is pleased to announce that she was published in the Heron Clan VIII anthology along with Doug Stuber, Adebimpe Oluwafunmilayo Adeyemi and many others. 

"cooking lesson" is Karren Alenier's (a.k.a. Steiny) poem response to Gertrude Stein's "Cooking," a Tender Buttons Objects subpoem. Alenier's poem begin "alas a lass Alice at last."

Alice Toklas was Gertrude Stein's life-long partner and she was a good cook.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

What Does an Author Want in a Book Reivew?


What does one hope for in a book review?


The Steiny Road Poet has been mulling this over after receiving  what she experienced as a better than average review published in Mom Egg Review July 22, 2021. In this review, Sara Epstein, who is a clinical psychologist as well as a poet and songwriter, looks at ten poems from the 60 published in the collection how we hold on. She agilely addresses that none of the poems use punctuation:


“Alenier pulls us along with minimal or no punctuation. We pause in the white spaces, line breaks, and other places where it makes sense to pause. Otherwise, we race with the pace of the speaker’s life.”


What Steiny means about the reviewer’s agility is that the reviewer understands that a line break doesn’t necessarily mean a full stop. Certainly Steiny’s intention in dropping punctuation was to provide fluidity and to keep the action moving.


Another aspect of how we hold on which was satisfyingly appreciated by the reviewer was the collection’s use of poetic form. Epstein commented that the format of the title poem seemed to hold on to the message: “The structure itself is a kind of holding in the way it contains her message in this rhythmic, evenly spaced form (23).” Steiny particularly enjoyed the reviewer’s discussion of her Golden Shovel poem: “‘What Was Hidden’ is yet another masterful example, using form to show what hides in plain sight. A line from Claude McKay’s poem …is broken down so that his words end each line of Alenier’s. Alenier evokes Anne Frank as she looks back on race and white privilege in a scene from childhood.”


Sometimes it’s surprising to see what poems may garner mention. What does that say about that poem? Is it standing out to the reviewer because it doesn’t quite fit into the overall collection? The bottom line is that what any poet whose book is being reviewed hopes for is accuracy. The beauty of online reviews is that an author can request minor corrections if needed.