Review of All This
November 3, 2016
I don’t read much poetry even though I enjoy escaping with a book of poems from time to time. I won ALL THIS in a book giveaway and am pleased to say it’s nicely put together. There are a variety of poems here, touching on many different subjects. The author has divided the book into several sections with related poetry beneath each section.
I was particularly fond of those poems that used vivid imagery to evoke mood. There are lovely visuals of wilderness life, coastal living and more sprinkled throughout. Some of my favorite entries are “Tomorrow is epiphany and I wait” “Seizing the Past” “Pursuing Ay” and The (Under) World. I also found “The New New North” interesting in the way it’s presented.
Others are sure to find poems that resonate with them. Thank you to the author for providing the book in the giveaway. You’ll find this collection a nice one to relax with and ponder over.
Little Red Tree Publishing published my poetry collection All This. It’s available at Amazon.
You can view my launch of All This at Book Passage on Youtube:
Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. Some of the poems use intertextuality, language from other works, to explore meaning, perception, and layers of experience. Others play with language, letting it lead into unexpected places, exploring new terrain. In a few, placement on the page conveys the feel of musical notation and phrasing, the page a theatre where the interaction of language makes meaning rather than recreates a remembered event. At times, words in a poem are treated as paint and the sheet of paper as an expressionistic canvas.
Praise for All This…
“There’s a restlessness to Lily Iona Mackenzie’s poetry that might properly be called ‘curiosity’—the eye alert in its socket, the ear straining to register. ‘The vaults// of syllables’ pour out their riches: a delectation of sky, a rampage of color, the sweet sting of mortality. From Mendocino to the Sea of Marmara to the Mexican highlands, these poems are afoot in the Whitman sense, and wonderfully ‘chewy’—deeply figured and sonically dense. Or let’s say they sink their teeth into experience, lap it right up, ‘night splitting/ open and spilling// its milk.’ In other words, what we have here is poetic sustenance.”
Aaron Schurin, former Director of USF’s MFA program and former Associate Director of the Poetry Center & American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, is the author of numerous books of poetry, including: Into Distances, The Paradise of Forms: Selected Poems, A Door, Involuntary Lyrics, Citizen, and volumes of prose, including Unbound: A Book of AIDS, and King of Shadows, a collection of essays.
“The poems in Lily Iona MacKenzie’s All This are an engrossing atlas of both geographical and emotional landscapes. They move from Canada to California, from the body to bereavement, from poetry to politics, from loss to love and back again. These innovative poems resonate because, miraculously, their topographies feel both familiar and new. We love living in them.”
Dean Rader teaches at the University of San Francisco in the Department of English, where he has also served as Dean of Humanities. Rader is also a published poet. His poem “Hesiod in Oklahoma, 1934” won the Sow’s Ear Review poetry prize in 2009. His debut poetry collection, Works and Days, won the 2010 Truman State University T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize. Works & Days was also named a finalist for the Bob Bush Memorial First Book Award, and it won the Writer’s League of Texas Book Award for Poetry.