A perceptive review of Danielle Pafunda's My Zorba by Caroline Depalma may be found in Coldfront:
Pafunda addresses you indirectly; she relies on shocked fragments, on jagged rhythms and imagery [...] on your ability to intuit a whole, not your ability to apportion its parts. There are times when you won’t know what the speaker is getting at just yet. Mirrors reflect the most insignificant details right beside the ostensibly significant. Does this require too much imagining on our part? Is it worth the leap? Lay your cash on the table beside her hairbrush and hatchet; this isn’t a disappointing gamble.
Another astute, yet different, take on My Zorba appears in Tarpaulin Sky by John Findura:
The book vacillates between the drawbridge and the gangplank, just as Zorba morphs between a “he” and a “she.” As each poem unfolds, there is a sign of welcome, but as quickly as it is noticed, next to it is the gangplank leading us off into the murky depths. It is an apt metaphor for reading this book as each turn of the page sucks us in deeper.
You can also catch Danielle right now at Delirious Hem continuing with her interview on the Gurlesque with Arielle Greenberg. (Eagerly awaited, Part 2 has just been posted.)
The new Rain Taxi features a lovely review of Shanna Compton's For Girls by Nate Pritts (which we quote in full since it is not available online):
Though Shanna Compton's second full-length book will probably get noticed first for its quasi-gender studies focus, the ironic tone and muscularly discursive lines of For Girls (& Others) mark it as first-rate poetry first, a lesson in articulating individual identity in a public sphere.
Compton owns her project--a kind of contemporary primer for girls that, in revealing how far we've come, indicates we haven't strayed far enough from the ideas of the 19th-century handbook that serves as impetus for some of the poems. Luckily, we have Compton's voice to help guide us: "Might you unlearn / to resent the joy / the world takes in you, // learn to return its gaze." The ending of "Pride in Having Small Feet" sets up the interesting tension of employing the rhetorical style of these outdated manuals in the service of offering some real insight. Moments like these, handled with grace and forcefulness, define the book, and provide the truest sense of a purpose here.
Lingustic virtuosity is a solid draw as well. Those who've read Compton's first collection, Down Spooky, already know her to be adept at torquing language in a way that reveals not simply multiple meanings, but multiple registers. "The Dome Is It" is a good illustration of Compton's ability to move into a realm where language becomes a reference to itself, where moods are the words used to describe them:The opposite of no withinThroughout, Compton uses syntax and lineation to provide some of the punch. In "Opening Address," she begins the book with a pronouncement about girls "upon whom the universe / bestows fullness / in all the right places." Both biblical sounding and funny, it's a good read on the tone used throughout the book. Simultaneously reverent and irreverent, For Girls (& Others) is a complex work on identity and the forces we all work against to assert it.
the curved, complete shape
of your dreamed conveyance.
Everything you've said lately
so similar to immediate
but not quite so.
Pick up a copy or subscribe to Rain Taxi here.
And come the vivid days & voluptuous evenings of July...
Tuesday, July 8 at 6:30 PM
in New York, NY
Jennifer L. Knox, Dara Wier & James Tate
read for KGB Night in Bryant Park
Hosted by Laura Cronk & Michael Quattrone
Word for Word Series
40th-42nd Streets between 5th & 6th Ave
behind the NYPL
Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00 PM
in New York, NY
Shanna Compton & TBD
Reading at Chrystie Street Series
Hosted by Steve Roberts
Home Sweet Home Bar
131 Chrystie Street
You might also spy Shanna in issue #2 of Tight & in the debut issue of Spooky Boyfriend, coming soon.
Before we bid you happy summering and let you get back to your iced tea and camping gear or whatever, we ask--if you're on Facebook and haven't yet, why not join our Friends of Bloof group?