Posts Tagged ‘Richard Newman’

October Haunts

To say that I’m taking a break from poetry would be a bit misleading.  But right now, I feel a bit crazy with revisions and upcoming deadlines (not to mention trying to set up some readings for the spring and summer for Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt).  So in an effort to save myself from total insanity, I have dedicated October as read horror books month.

I will admit, dear readers, that as a kid I read every horror book in sight.  I read Stephen King’s work way before I was supposed to, and I loved this young adult/kid series titled Twilight (no — not by Stephanie Meyer fame, the only information I could find about this out-of-print series can be found here). But, I haven’t read much horror/suspense in recent years.  So, I’m trying to catch up.

What have I already read this month?  John Ajdive Lindqvist’s novel, Handling the Undead, is his second novel.  His first book, at the risk of talking about vampire books, was the very dark, Let the Right One In.  I really liked Let the Right One In, and thought that both movies based after the book were very well done.  Handling the Undead, about a city that handles zombies after a mysterious electrical storm brings back its dead people, was also a good read — except the ending, which I won’t discuss here, just in case you want to read the book.

Right now, I’m reading Frankenstein’s Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe, a sequel of sorts to the original class, Frankenstein.  I know that I’m always taking a risk when I pick up this kind of book, and to be honest, this risk did not pay off.  I’m just not enjoying the story, even though the author is attempting to place more sympathy with Victor Frankenstein’s creation.   However, it is making me want to go back and read Mary Shelley’s original classic — which is a good thing.

As for monsters in the poetry world?  My recommendation of the month is Richard Newman’s chapbook, Monster Gallery: 19 Terrifying and Amazing Monster Sonnets.  This link (you will have to scroll down) has information about the chapbook as well as sample poems.  I love the idea that Newman dedicated a whole volume to monster poems that are also sonnets!  My favorite is “Attack of the Giant Crab People” — but Newman also includes a poem about vampires (for you vampire lovers out there) titled “Vampire Laments the Loss of His Reflection.”

In Borrowed Towns

If I was doing a formal review of Borrowed Towns  by Richard Newman, I would have to think long and hard about why a poet would choose to place Bigfoot and Mothra poems (even if they are rather charming Bigfoot and Mothra poems) in a collection of works that are otherwise explorations of the beautiful and the bizarre in small Midwestern towns.  But since I am just rambling a bit on my blog, I have to say that Borrowed Towns  is one of the best books of poetry I have read in a long time.  Richard Newman is one of the poets that I wish I would have discovered long before now.  Whether he is writing about old coins or a small outcast of a boy, Newman manages to aproach his subjects with both honesty and charm.  The people in this collection are funny and real, and the landscape is beautiful.  My personal favorite?  The concluding poem, “Slow Fires” where the poet describes a whole world burning, as a coal fire rages beneath the ground.