Rob Carney’s Book of Sharks (winner of the 2019 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry) was a ferocious tour-de-force. The poems in Facts + Figures are more gentle, though not entirely toothless. Carney, whose poetry is grounded in the re-enchantment of the world, begins the collection with a sequence titled “Thirteen Facts,” […]
Amy Brunvand is an award-winning poet and an associate librarian at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
“A package held so firmly closed by pride and practicality”: Klancy de Never’s “Lessons in Printing”
“If a piece of paper gets into my house for a day, I’ll save it forever,” writes Klancy Clark de Nevers, oblivious of Marie Kondo’s warning about papers: “they will never inspire joy, no matter how carefully you keep them.” For de Nevers, these boxes of family ephemera […]
The Book of Sharks sounds like one of those fabulous fictional works that exist only in an author’s imagination, but in fact, Rob Carney has written an ambitious book of shark poetry that lives up to its mythological title. His piercing shark poems have been swimming into ecological poetry […]
Georgia O’Keeffe was an artist of such compelling vision that an entire region of the United States redecorated to match her aesthetic. I don’t mean that as snark. Contemplation of O’Keeffe’s art actually changes the way we understand erosional geomorphology, flowering plants, sun-bleached bones, deep blue skies, and […]
When I picked up this slim chapbook my first impression was how pretty it is to look at. The cover art resembles a map. Not the newfangled digital kind that talks you over a cliff as soon as you let down your guard–an old-fashioned paper map with carefully […]
Lance Olsen’s previous novel, Theories of Forgetting ( Reviewed in 15 Bytes 4/3/2014), relates how when Robert Smithson’s earthwork Spiral Jetty is above water it is typically experienced as a simple labyrinth: visitors can’t resist walking the spiral to the center and out again. In his new book […]
In 1966, Salt Lake City’s “Japan Town” was demolished to build the Salt Palace Convention Center, taking with it a deep cultural memory of institutionalized prejudice. Although many Japanese immigrants came to America between 1884 and 1907, Asian immigrants were prevented from becoming naturalized citizens until 1952. A […]
Lisa Bickmore’s new poetry collection begins with a lament for the lost art of penmanship: “I tap the letters out in fluent clicks,” she writes, “What corsair has made off with my lovely pen?” The Frenchified word “corsair” belongs in a bodice-ripper! If only the act of writing were […]
Samantha Matsukawa and Efren Corado perform in Those With Wings. Photo by Pete Vordenberg On a warm summer evening, I gathered with a small group of people at Bend-in-the-River park by the Jordan River for a performance of “Those with Wings,” billed as an “immersive dance experience” based […]
Katharine Coles’ writing style is pared-down and precise. The former Utah Poet Laureate (2006-2012) often uses punctuation in order to minimize verbiage, and favors “erasures” to create new poems by eliminating words from an existing text. The effect can seem a bit chilly, though it set the perfect […]
Paisley Rekdal, who won the 2013 15 Bytes Book Award in Poetry for “Animal Eye” (as well as an impressive number of other fancier prizes), has published a new book of poetry with the prestigious Copper Canyon Press. As with her previous books, Imaginary Vessels is sheer pleasure to read. Words […]
An ecstatic, mystical encounter with the divine: Alex Caldiero’s Who is the Dancer, What is the Dance?
This past September, after I came home from a weeklong river trip, a friend told me I needed to read Alex Caldiero’s new book, Who is the Dancer, What is the Dance(Saltfront, 2016). The book is a facsimile of a poetic journal Caldiero kept on a six-day trip on […]
This chapbook documents a trip from Utah to Argentina in three brief chapters, each with a poem, an essay, a photograph, and epigraphs taken from the work of poet Pablo Neruda. The first section, “Punta Norte,” describes a wildlife preserve on the Península Valdés in Argentina which is […]
Michael McLane is the man behind the Utah Book Festival, which this month is bringing authors and book lovers together across the state. But he’s also a writer, and in this companion piece to our podcast on Trent Alvey, Amy Brunvand takes a look at McLane’s Elik Press publication Trace Elements: Mapping the Great Basin and its Peripheries.
Judith Freeman is best known as a fiction writer who frequently weaves Mormon themes into her stories. Her novel The Chinchilla Farm (1989) won an award from the Association of Mormon Letters, and Red Water (2002) centers on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Her latest book is a memoir […]
Craig Dworkin, a professor of English at the University of Utah, is a bright star in the avant-garde conceptual poetry movement. Conceptual poetry is the opposite of what most people think of when they think of poetry. Rather than using expressive language to explore the human condition, conceptual […]
Every now and then I run across a poem so tasty I’m greedy for more by the same poet, which is how I felt after finding Rob Carney’s prize winning “Seven Pages from The Book of Sharks” on terrain.org. The poem tells a wholly invented myth of sharks […]