Los Angeles Independent Publishing

Poetry Readings

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, is the place for new poems, new fiction, and lesbian fiction/lesbian books.

Los Angeles Independent Publishing

Lesbian Books

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, offers poetry readings, poetry contests, book awards, and more.

Reviews




The Neglected Art... John Cotter reviews Lamp of the Body

Maggie Smith's first collection, Lamp of the Body, is informed by a lush and quiet style of imagism. Her eclectic source material is biblical, fantastic, and cinematic. The proper names of her internal mythology (Job, Dorothy, Desperation) visit the darkest places of the mind. They come from "that lonely country / where there are not fields of flowers / no one dusting them with snow." They live under an open sky, but even the bluest day can be claustrophobic, and "The sky hears what you pretend / not to ask." These are painterly poems, formally concerned with color and tone:

Your mother's blue robe

Recedes into rooms lit by

Televisions, rooms wavering

Blue as aquariums minus

The fish.

The poems here don't relate narrative so much as enable us to infer a story from a series of images and sensations. Handkerchiefs wave and bones glow. Breasts are so pale "they appeared to be lit from within," or soft "as fresh figs." Lamp of the Body follows a growing trend for poetry collections, that of arranging disparate poems to form an arc, or a journey. The poems here begin in childhood, move through loss and pain, end with a sense of renewal, a new life.

Knowledge came

disguised in sweetness

and with such ease, it astonished.

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Los Angeles Independent Publishing

Lesbian Books

Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, offers poetry readings, poetry contests, book awards, and more.