Book Review: Stripper in Wonderland

Stripper in Wonderland: Poems by Harriell, Derrick My rating: 5 of 5 stars If you think the cover has energy, then hold onto your hat. These poems leap off the page with vibrant language and daring subjects. Harriell is willing to take on race and sex, falling in love and becoming a parent, living theContinue reading “Book Review: Stripper in Wonderland”

Book Review: Heirlooms by Rachel Hall

Heirlooms: Stories by Rachel Hall My rating: 5 of 5 stars Disclaimer: I’ve known Rachel Hall since we were at Knox College together, so these stories would have been a joy to read no matter what, just for her voice and wry humor and the memories they evoke. Though that friendship is what prompted meContinue reading “Book Review: Heirlooms by Rachel Hall”

Book Review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Miss Jane by Brad Watson My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s no wonder Watson’s latest novel was nominated for the National Book Award. Watson presents us with compelling characters whose lives explore contemporary issues in a setting of historical fiction. The title character, Jane is born in the early 20th century with a birthContinue reading “Book Review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson”

Clarion Ledger Review

I am incredibly honored that today’s Clarion Ledger includes a review of Barrier Island Suite, and I’m grateful for the meticulous reading that Lisa McMurtray gives of these poems. I’m also thankful to Steve Yates who organizes these reviews, which is such a great service to writers and readers in Mississippi. I do need to make one small correction —Continue reading “Clarion Ledger Review”

Book Review: Before He Finds Her

Before He Finds Her: A Novel by Michael Kardos My rating: 5 of 5 stars An engrossing read, Kardos’s second novel captivates both as a thriller and as a character study that asks deep questions about love, family, truth, and the will to change. As anyone who has read The Three-Day Affair might expect, KardosContinue reading “Book Review: Before He Finds Her”

Book Review: Approaching the Magic Hour by Anges Grinstead Anderson

Approaching the Magic Hour: Memories of Walter Anderson by Agnes Grinstead Anderson My rating: 4 of 5 stars A fascinating memoir for fans of Walter Anderson’s art from the perspective of his wife, this book tells the story of their marriage, his struggles with mental illness, and the times and places that inform his paintings,Continue reading “Book Review: Approaching the Magic Hour by Anges Grinstead Anderson”

Book Review: Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury

Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury My rating: 5 of 5 stars As the title poem announces, “Sometimes what is needed comes to hand.” These poems are both needed and close at hand. Amy Fleury’s voice is never overly intellectual, never too familiar. These poems are calm and contemplative, yet they bring necessary images to life,Continue reading “Book Review: Sympathetic Magic by Amy Fleury”

Book Review: The Last Days of California

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller My rating: 5 of 5 stars I loved the narrative voice given to Jess, and the immediacy of her story, where every moment is painted with vivid detail. Miller’s dry, sometimes sardonic sense of humor gives the story just enough of an edge, and the four familyContinue reading “Book Review: The Last Days of California”

Book Review: Fear and What Follows

Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, A Memoir by Tim Parrish My rating: 5 of 5 stars Fear and What Follows, takes a chilling and at times difficult, even challenging look at America of the 1970’s, specifically the city of Baton Rouge and the school and neighborhood where Parrish grewContinue reading “Book Review: Fear and What Follows”