I am struck by the kind of conversation that takes flight in Laurie Saurborn’s review of Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEART. The grounding Saurborn accounts for in Grenier’s image-building. Grenier, also a visual artist, knows how to engage the mind’s eye of the reader–or pull back the curtain and reveal her own. There is such movement in these poems as in Saurborn’s prose and we are witness to the music between them. Caught up in it.
It was back in August when Laurie and I connected for Angela Narciso Torres’ review. When we realized we shared a similar shorthand about chapbooks and small presses. Shared a belief that the review is vital to the poet. And that craft analysis is more important than the blurb. I’m still a little gobsmacked she took me up on the offer to oversee and guide our review section. And what a gift it is to have her moonlight as our house band on reviews like this one. At its best, a book review not only picks out songs, replaying notes, dissecting others. It’s not so much a reveal as a sharing in the revelation. In the hands of the right writer, it too, is music as much as telling the good news.
Grenier has written a thing with sound and wings. Her own double album. But don’t take my word for it.