Kirkus’ first Woman Issue coincides with National Poetry Month, which gives Indie editors the perfect forum to tout the following must-read collections for April. In these works, the poets celebrate multiple facets of identity, including orientation, religion, relationships, language, and voice.
In Mosaic of the Dark, LisaDordal uses her degrees in divinity and the fine arts to interweave Christian references into considerations of sexuality and the self, says our reviewer. For example, “On the Way to Emmaus” alludes to “Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearance [and] presents the narrator’s own dramatic metamorphosis: Still closeted while teaching a New Testament course, she came out on the last day of class.” These lines are full of the unexpected and “aren’t about showy structures or sonic techniques but about well-chosen words carefully arranged.”
Annie Kim earned a star for her debut, Into the Cyclorama. Kim, an assistant dean at the University of Virginia School of Law, meditates on individual and collective identity. Says our reviewer: “Her poems are elegant and intricate, with forms ranging from prose paragraphs to the three spare lines of the sijo, a traditional Korean lyric with a set number of syllables and pauses.”
Translated from Greek to English, Homerica by Phoebe Giannisi (translated by Brian Sneeden) explores themes of love and language via Homer’sOdyssey. In “Patroklos II,” Giannisi wonders about the nuances of linguistics: “Is it that language follows longing / or is it longing / that’s inspired by language?” Our reviewer says: “The collection also reflects on some darker topics, including death, gluttony, and growing old (‘time is a terrifying medicine’), but its purpose may in fact be to show that these aren’t mysterious subjects at all—they’re just a part of the process of life.” Karen Schechner is the vice president of Kirkus Indie.