January 11, 2017, Able Muse Review: “The use of enjambment, the variations in the length of the sentences, the apparent inevitability of the rhymes all bespeak of a high level of craft.” Read the Review by Brooke Clark
December 23, 2016, Hampshire Gazette Review: “Shaw recalls memories like the wonder he felt for his grandfather’s tool collection, the marks his father left on the kitchen chair, and the feel of crossing a farm field in summer when the heat seems to conjure an ‘uncanny emanation like / a sigh up from the blistering soil.’” Read the Review
September 2 2016, A Word’s Worth Review: “Poetry moving between past and present, life and death, to arrive at four cogent lines: “I’d say this landscape frames / hints of how best to go. / Others may crash in flames. / My goal is afterglow.” .” Read the Review
“Time and again, Shaw brings his subjects to life. Handles of tools look “like lemon jelly petrified.” Plants and animals, youth and age, private life and public history—everything is here in glorious enchantment and detail.”—Timothy Steele
April 25, 2017—A Word’s Worth Review: “A tour de force volume, writing from a well of memories and nostalgic thought that will perturb some and delight others in a range of subjects and characters with sharp bits of philosophy couched between the lines.” Read the Review
Memoir & Stories by Stuart Friebert
Friebert’s stories glide between first and last person, as memoir in 1949, a student in Germany. To ancestors: Eddie and spunky fiancé Gertie. To stories of campus life, fishing, and translations in Czechoslovakia. Stuart’s book echoes the early James Joyce and reminds us that war and intelligence continue.
Starting with remembering the dead, Next in Line then explores ways of living: everyday experiences (post office, theatre, clothing sale, a tree being pollarded) and places (Istanbul, Paris, Cape Cod). We meet people, animals, and the larger world looms: people use buses when the underground is bombed, girls drink wine looted during a riot.
“Barnes’ subject in these lapidary poems is the ruthless passage of time. ‘Why does hair / grow from his ears, why aren’t his trousers clean,’ asks the poem, as though from within the mind that time has begun to erode. ‘Exactly. A world where beauty no longer counts.’ Except that, figure by figure and line by line, these poems make an impassioned case on behalf of beauty: the beauty of form, the beauty of concision, the beauty of unblinking apprehension.”—Linda Gregerson