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News & Reviews Archive - Red Hen Press


Kim Dower reflects on The Coast Playhouse Poetry Marquee with The WeHo Times

Date: March 1, 2023

The Poetry on the Marquee at the Coast Playhouse came down earlier this week on Monday, February 20, 2023, as the theater gets ready for redevelopment in the near future. Former West Hollywood Poet Laureate, Kim Dower, remembers what it was like to have her words in lights just a few months short of four […]

Electric Lit spotlights COFFEE, SHOPPING, MURDER, LOVE

Date: January 30, 2023

“17 Small Press Books from 2022 that You Might Have Missed” includes Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love by Carlos Allende. “Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love plays with the tropes of crime fiction by way of two memorable narrators, Charlie and Jignesh. Their connection—at first on an unsuccessful date—is rekindled later, when Charlie is selling a freezer…and Jignesh has […]

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One Poet’s Notes, Valparaiso Poetry Review

Date: April 18, 2009, APRIL 2, 2007Leslie Heywood: THE PROVING GROUNDSLeafing through the work in Leslie Heywood's premiere book of poetry, The Proving Grounds, one quickly becomes accustomed to uncovering sometimes uncomfortable and intimate details about the lives of the personae, often obviously representing the poet, in each piece's personal narrative. In the process, readers discover a compelling […]

Beth Ann Fennelly, The Southern Register

Date: April 16, 2009

"In the debut collection from Kentucky poet Nickole Brown, readers experience the pleasures of poetry "the illuminated moment reverberating" as well as the pleasures of the novel–the narrative unfurling, driven by complex central characters. . . . Rich with images, brave with difficult truths, and restrained enough to avoid melancholy, this is a collection readers […]

Cynthia Arrieu-King, Diagram

Date: April 16, 2009

"If you feel that high emotion and unalienated confession is not art, as Slavoj Zizek might assert that it cops to the System where the individual is valued for trying to be different–this books asks the question: what do you do with specific experience you never chose and from which you must try to recover? […]

Ely Shipley, Quarterly West

Date: April 16, 2009

"Brown's awareness of the book's form, its how in addition to its what, allows for these poems' rich complexities. The order not only forms a linear narrative, but layers experience. . . . Such raw and beautiful imagery is just one of the many threads that pull this book together. The moments result in nothing […]

Julie Enszer, Lambda Book Report

Date: April 16, 2009

"The strength of Sister is in the details, some of which are constructed through Brown's diction, which is gently infused with a southern dialect but resists caricature. She writes of cutting her finger then blood "pollacking the paper with red' or of "fried comfort' or when her sister came home "bawling, colicky, dispositioned / bad, […]

Melanie Jordan, Southern Indiana Review

Date: April 16, 2009

"To write of one's own conception, gestation, birth"to write convincingly of unknowable-yet-familiar moments: that is the power of poetry and the power of Nickole Brown's debut, Sister, a self-styled "novel-in-poems.' . . . It would be difficult for the book to flee the inevitable baggage of the Southern Gothic, yet it walks that high wire […]

American Poet: The Journal of The Academy of American Poets

Date: April 16, 2009

"Nickole Brown's poems marry an enthralling and tormented narrative with woven, specific lyricism to create a layered progression through a difficult past. Brown has immediate access to how the situations she evokes are processed by the mind of a child and can re-create that open and immediate seeing. . . . The aim here is […]

Cate Marvin, Ploughshares

Date: April 16, 2009

"Using umbilicus as guide rail, the speaker of Nickole Brown's Sister–an unflinching and deeply intelligent first book–undertakes a hair-lifting expedition back to her childhood so as to return herself to the arms of a younger sister both long neglected and longed for. Proving that narrative and lyric are never mutually exclusive, Brown pulls the reader […]

Erica Wright, ForeWord Magazine

Date: April 16, 2009

"It would be easy to say that this collection is an indictment, but there is nothing easy about these poems. They are each skillfully wrought pieces about impossible subjects. . . . Though she speaks of "straddling a fence," of "switching all the time / between isn't and ain't" ("Straddling Fences"), there is no question […]

Publishers Weekly, August 2007

Date: April 16, 2009

"Brown's forthright debut opens with an intimate address to a sister: "I tell you this story because it is / the story we need / to believe our offal is divine." . . . . A striking collection. The strongest poems are those stripped of commentary, in which rough memories are offered as strange discoveries, […]

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