In her debut collection, Sarah Ens pulls the reader into a very contemporary world grounded in the natural but wonderfully tuned to the metaphysical. The book’s first section evokes a prairie girlhood of fields and silos, and games that signal dawning awareness of both intimacy and mortality: “we tore mittens thundering / up icy bark” (“Always Trees with the Almighty”). Through the eyes of Ens’ speaker, abuses come to light, and we begin to feel the pressures young women face: “desperately wanting to dig it even deeper” (“Straddled”).
The first poem in Following Sea, Lauren Carter’s second collection of poetry, stands alone, untethered from one of the book’s five sections. Titled “Historian,” it’s set in modern day, a contrast from most of the other 49 poems inhabiting Carter’s meticulous look at family history and human migration.
between pages, those sudden
she writes in this first piece, searching for evidence of her ancestors’ lives on reels of microfiche and on the pages of worn ledgers.
Exquisite Monsters, K. I. Press’ fourth poetry collection, muses on birth, parenthood, depression and suburban life. Ostensibly described as pop-culture-meets parenting, Press’ pop references are the side dishes as often as they are the main course.