Eilene Lyon of Myricopia has written a beautiful review of my chapbook Kin Types. She writes on her blog about her family history (among other things), and is finishing up a book about it as well. About my chap:
This slender volume is saturated with spirits brought to life by Luanne Castle’s soulful words in prose and poetry. It’s a collection I will read again and again, as it inspires a hope that some of her magic will rub off on my attempts to reinvigorate my ancestors’ stories. The writing is not just creative and lyrical, but draws on deep research and compassion.
Though there are instances of tragedy and death—universal human events—not all is gloomy within these pages. I love how “Half-Naked Woman Found Dead” conjures the purple prose of 19th-century journalism, and despite the dire subject, makes me laugh out loud with the final line. In “Genealogy” she takes a simple subject, the name Frank, and in a few words imparts both a legacy passed down and a deeper meaning tied to the name itself.
The details Castle creates to evoke time, place, and experience, continually astonish me. The veil clouding the past is pierced and we step into the shoes of her long-gone loved ones.
Coincidentally, two of the Kin Types poems were just reprinted by Verse-Virtual in the May issue. You can find them here:
Check out the other poems in this issue, as well. Some lovely work.
You know that first poem, “Genealogy”? As you can see it’s about the name Frank and looks at another meaning of the name. So when I first heard about the great Diane Seuss’ phenomenal book Frank: Sonnets I knew the ambiguity inherent in that one-word title and was intrigued. In fact, her collection is a frank exploration of her life in poems, as well as inspired by but completely different from the work of poet Frank O’Hara. If you read one poetry book by a “great” this year, make it Seuss’. The book has just taken these awards:
Winner of the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection
Winner of the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
Winner of the 2021 L.A. Times Book Prize for Poetry
Finalist for the 2022 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Pretty darn amazing, but you will see why the book earned them.
On another note, I have a bundle of yummy looking poetry books to read by Merril D. Smith, Justin Hamm, Caroline Goodwin, Millicent Accardi, KB, and John Sibley Williams. Woohoo!!!!
And, finally, I am tinkering with the memoir. Is a writer’s work ever done? Kind of like being a woman (if you remember the expression).
Finally, on a completely unrelated topic, I found out there is a haunted hotel in Phoenix, Hotel San Carlos. That’s right. You can read about its checkered history here.
Make it a good week!