Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Alchemist's Kitchen + The Saint of Letting Small Fish Go.

Susan Rich's blog, The Alchemist's Kitchen, has just the right recipe to make a delicious read: a little memoir, some travel, tips on such lit-biz topics as how to successfully apply for a residency and the fact that women poets might have an edge now in submitting to the Southern Review, as well as notable literary events, like the celebration of Madeleine DeFrees' 90th birthday at Elliot Bay Books. Susan, I've added yours to my blogroll! Thanks for the riches.

I've been reading Eliot Khalil Wilson's The Saint of Letting Small Fish Go, a beautiful and brilliant debut book. The poems are well-crafted, full of feeling, often tender, and filled with stunning metaphorical aptness. I sometimes feel the strain behind a poem's reaching for the surprising metaphor; never in these poems did the metaphor or simile strike me as gratuitous. This is poetry that has earned its imagination, lived itself out before coming to the page. Here's the title poem, published at Slate. And a poem that just knocks me out, White Slip on the Paris Metro at From the Fishouse (you can hear him read the poem).

Eliot Khalil Wilson, an Arab-American, brings an interesting cultural mix into his writing with a subtlety that makes the shifting cultural landscapes fascinating. I learned about his work from my editor, Bryan Roth. I'm really glad I got the book and just hope Wilson's writing more books!

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,

    Thank you so much for this review. I am just seven days in the blog world and while I am having a great time - it's been a little lonely over at The Alchemist's Kitchen. I really appreciate the tip of your hat to my brand new endeavor. Thank you so much.

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