Three-Note Howl: The Wild Hunt by Shay Caroline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am honored to appear--once again--with two such extremely talented women as my two co-authors. Their words amaze me every time. I naturally won't presume to review my own section of this book, but I would like to say something about my co-authors and their work!
Kelli Simpson is a born story teller. Whether she is talking about her own life, as in "In Case Of Feedback...", which is about her time as the singer in a rock band, or "The Radio", drawn from her challenging girlhood, or delving into invention as in "Meidung: The Shunning" about a girl who must choose between self-affirmation or belonging, Kelli has an absolute knack for putting the reader right there, in both detail and emotion, and making the reader care.
She doesn't mince words, either, to say the least! Nobody can draw a bead on a subject and put one right between its succinct little eyes like Kelli Simpson can. Most of the poems in her section are quite short, but lack nothing in either point or punch. I would be remiss if I didn't mention her very sharply observed and wryly written humor as well. There is genuine wit and intelligence throughout her section of the book, as well as a depth of experience, pain, joy and perception. She can be damned sexy, too.
Joy Ann Jones is our anchor, imbuing the final third of this book with the kind of writing I've only seen in books with famous names on the front of them. I can't tell you how often, while reading poems like "Caribou", "The Greenhouse", or "Century", that I found myself simply shaking my head in admiration, wondering how anyone can find phrasing like hers.
She writes about the old Norse gods, an incubus, and various arcane deities and devils, but does so in such a way that they all take a back seat to the very particular human emotions and experiences she describes, and always in the most astonishing language. Joy also writes about nature with a deft and expert hand, making something as simple as a flower or a bird seem to be filled with sorrow, or menace, or redemption. She uses myth freely while creating myth of her own, drawn from her life and imagination. Many of her poems are form poems, and the structure only makes them more stunning.
I'm honored to appear, again, in the same volume with these two immensely talented women. Every time I read their work, I feel rewarded, and challenged to write better myself. When it comes to poetry, they are as good as it gets.
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