Rebecca Dunham is a poet and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing. Her work has been described as post-confessional and concerns itself with feminist and ecological issues. Her most recent publication, Cold Pastoral, is a collection of poems based on modern ecological disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has published four other collections of poetry, including Fascicle, Glass Armonica, The Miniature Room, and The Flight Cage.
Q: What does Cold Pastoral mean, for you? What do you hope readers gain after reading the poems?
Personally, the book marks a point in my life when I had to take stock of my place in the world around me, as well as the function of poetry within that world. For readers, I hope that the poet-speaker’s journey will resonate with those of us who may mean well, but who have also blinded ourselves to the mounting human and environmental crises around us. I would hope that the book will encourage readers to consider their responsibility to others, as well as potential for language and literature to enact change. Continue reading
Dunham’s poetry comes to us at a desperate time. We currently face the ecological threats of global warming, as exacerbated by our human interactions with the world we inhabit. Pollution, over-population, and deforestation are serious hazards to our environment, and Dunham understands our human contribution to the problem. With her poems, she hopes to educate and inform readers of the very real consequences of forgetting to care for the Earth.
This collection examines the man-made and/or human-influenced natural disasters of our time: the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath, and the Flint water crisis. Dunham tactfully weaves desolate poems with evidenciary support, creating a powerful report on what really happened with the Oil Spill. Continue reading
Jill McDonough’s book of poetry Reaper is written at a desperate time for humanity. We currently face the very real threats of overpopulation, pollution and global warming, all of which stir up questions of control and technology. McDonough brings awareness to these issues while at the same time providing hope for the future.
McDonough predicts that the loss of our humanity, of nature, and the loss of human nature – the loss of the self – will all be, in part, due to the rise of technology. We, as a species, are becoming numb to our own desires, “wanting … wanting” (10). People are currently content to be “distracted” (16), brainwashed, in a sense, numb to life. We take for granted the little things, things that don’t require technology, like emotions, feelings, or experiences; the more we allow technology to rule our loves, the more we lose sight of our true selves.
“Not a narrative. Not an essay. Not a shopping list. Not a song. Not a diary. Not an etiquette manual. Not a confession. Not a prayer. Not a secret letter sent through the silent Palace hallways before dawn.”
A Pillow Book, Suzanne Buffam’s 2016 book of poetry, is a great companion for anyone struggling with sleep. During the darkest hours of night and through the early hours of morning, at dusk or dawn, the poems in A Pillow Book possesses the hypnotizing ability to lull readers into a restful trance. Continue reading
From Land of Oz is a quest about finding poetry everywhere it presents itself. These poems are based on L. Frank Baum’s cherished children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a story has inspired reproductions, continuations and recreations since its original publication in 1900. Inspired, Kathleen de la Chaumette relies on the classic as the basis of her poems in the recently published From the Land of Oz.
Reminiscent and nostalgic, the poems in the collection attempt to recreate the magic and mystery we experienced as children, reminding us of and transporting us back to Oz. The wonderment and joy that follows the childlike innocence experienced and replicated through The Wizard of Oz are retained and revisited in De La Chaumette’s selection of poems. Continue reading