Robert Peake’s The Knowledge (Nine Arches Press) is a subtle, tender collection whose mixture of narrative and descriptive images inexorably draws the reader on to (occasionally painful) revelation.
Peake’s great strength is that he knows what death is, and is not afraid to make us look at it. The fact that he leads us there slowly, moving with precise and careful gentleness, shows that (as a writer) he is kind, as well as skilled.
Herself a poet deeply concerned with social justice, and committed the possibilities of form, she takes evident delight certain poems along the way (such as the crown of sonnets near the end), and is unafraid to voice her dislike of others.
Overall, she seems to have enjoyed the journey, and points out many small but important details along the way.
Long-Islander George Wallace and Frisco Kid Paul Fericano have been quietly and diligently going about the business of furthering the tradition of Amercian poetry in their own unique voices. I take a look at what each has to offer — Wallace’s rough tenderness, Fericano’s slapstick pathos — in an online review of their work.
The book ships worldwide, at reasonable rates, at the end of April. It contains poems begun in my MFA in Writing programme as well as many written in response to the remarkable past four years living in and near London. Nine Arches Press won “Most Innovative Publisher” in the most recent voter-picked Saboteur Awards and working with them to bring this book to light has been an absolute pleasure.
I scrambled an electronic review copy of my forthcoming book The Knowledge, and she read deeply into the poems.
The poet moves from couplet through the numbered stanzas to free verse, and back again, with confidence and grace. The pace is impressive, largely because the poems are a joy of enjambment. … The work is elegant and strong. If it is silk then it is silk over steel.
Having already enhanced this ekphrastic poem with imagery, I decided that a film-poem seemed like an obvious next step. Visually, the film follows the poem’s concerns about different kinds of reality — personal, virtual, and historical — by playing with dimensionality.