Review: Landscape of The Wait by Jami Macarty

51C4Sad+45L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Landscape of The Wait by Jami Macarty (Finishing Line Press, 2017)

Reviewed by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

Derived from the ancient word for “watching,” waiting seems especially relegated to the human animal. Waiting implies the existence of a thought process as well as biology–a stasis, a trance. The state implies a wish, as a reaction to time and action. It makes sense that the literature of waiting has ancient origins, and that the sub-genre thrives during war. The world’s most important epics are also part of the body of the literature of waiting. The Odyssey and Penelope’s wait, and The Aeneid and Dido’s wait are two of our most essential examples. Naturally, the literature of waiting thrived during World War II, when Yehuda Amichai wrote the marvelous poem I heard him read in Hebrew and in English at the Hillel Center at UCLA in the 1990’s, where he said, in essence, that the war was not worth the poems made by the light of warfare. It begins

Out of three or four in a room,

One is always standing at the window.

Forced to see the injustice among the thorns,

The fires on the hills.

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Review: Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

cawaw-687x1029Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar (Alice James Books, 2017)

Reviewed by Rebecca Valley

I saw Kaveh Akbar read last month under a white tent lit with string lights in Emily Dickinson’s garden. The garden, of course, was not as tranquil as it had been when Emily sat there. Akbar read over a hum of street traffic and chatting pedestrians. At moments, though, it was quiet. Akbar read elegy after elegy – for lost language and lost friends, for a version of himself that drank more and hurt more – and I thought of Emily. “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, / One need not be a house…” Continue reading