Monthly Archives: October 2016

Hermit Thrush by Amy Minato

(A book review by Christina Anne Taylor)

I’ve been enjoying Amy Minato’s Hermit Thrush, which was recently gifted to me by a friend in the literary scene who thought I would appreciate it. The poet’s educational background is Environmental Studies, and that’s precisely what her poems are: assessments, translations from one language into another so that readers might sense her perceptions. Multi-colored, multi-textural, reading her poems is like walking through a lucid dream, which is why this slim yet sufficiently full-filling collection is a perfect read first thing in the morning when one is still in alpha waves and needs a gentle awakening while the coffee is brewing.

hermit-thrushThis morning I awakened to “Body of the Earth”…

A swish through flakes

of the forest’s dead skin

where maple leaves lay yellow palms

on the tibia of beetle-burrowed sticks

and tresses of brown needles.

And from “Field Study at Harvest Moon”…

Across the meadow, sunset alights

corn lilies’ lacy tops,

a procession of candles

in a green night.


A doe grazes the margin

between meadow and pine rim,

one ear twitching for bugs,

the other for us.

Amy Minato artfully unfolds a mind that recognizes life in all things and frequently personifies to awaken what is silent, to set to motion what is still, and to present a layer of magic as she perceives it. She is the author or two other titles as well as Hermit Thrush, which was beautifully designed and published through Inkwater Press in August of this year. Copies are available through Powell’s Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Inkwater Press, and many local independent booksellers.

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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in News & Reviews


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Obsessions: A Novel by Gene McCormick

mccormick-obsessions-cover-jpegObsessions (“A cup of coffee and a walk in the park through the feral cityscapes of daily life”) is a novel written in poetic form and is the latest work of Illinois poet and author Gene McCormick. This is his second title published by Middle Island Press this year.

From the Middle Island Press website:

Obsessions of daily life including passion, mystery, and even a minute or two of off-center romance provide emotional heft to a highly nuanced, uniquely evocative exploitation of minutes and hours ticking by in a multi-layered, thought-provoking, genteel insanity. Obsessions is, on the surface, accessible to the brink of literal transparency but a walk in a forest preserve, being parked in a shopping mall in a thunderstorm, going fishing, rubbing on lotion prove not so routine. As Neil Gaiman has said “Things can mean more than they literally mean.” 

McCormick’s titles are available via and elsewhere online. I recommend Obsessions to people who are naturally curious about humanity and enjoy the humor that abounds through observing the nuances of others. It’s an intriguing read!

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Posted by on October 10, 2016 in News & Reviews


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