Karen J. Weyant has written a fantastic (and perceptive) review of Brackish. I'm flattered and honored by Weyant's words, which reinforce a belief I've long held about writing: it's a great thing to be read. It's a better thing to be understood. From the review:
Through personal narratives and stories told from the past, readers watch a young boy growing up to come to terms with his place in this world. The landscape found in this collection is so vivid that when I was done reading, I could smell paper mills and fish. I could taste the salt of the ocean. I could hear music, a folksy hum that is not quite in tune. I could feel a fishing line between my thumb and fingers, a thin line tugging me, pulling me back in.
Many thanks to Weyant for these kind words, and many thanks to Rattle for publishing the review.
Check out Weyant's website here: http://thescrapperpoet.wordpress.com/about/
Be sure to check out Karen Weyant's poetry here: http://thescrapperpoet.wordpress.com/read-a-poem-or-two/
Also, you can purchase her chapbooks Stealing Dust (Finishing Line Press) and Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt (Main Street Rag).
Thanks to poet and blogger (and recently-dubbed "Doctor") Keith Montesano for interviewing me for his "First Book Interviews" blog. You can find the interview here.
The interview puts me in some very good company, and I'm honored to be featured by poets as amazing as Justin Evans, Allison Pelegrin, Dan Albergotti, Jehanne Dubrow, and Gary L. McDowell. To be mentioned in the same breath as these writers is simply overwhelming. Reading their work, I'm reminded that it's an amazing time to be a writer, despite the doom and gloom we hear about the so-called "death" of the humanities. Poetry is alive and kicking, and it's so much more compelling and diverse than anyone outside of the poetry world (and many inside the poetry world) suspect.
Keith's a wonderful poet in his own right. Definitely check out his debut collection, Ghost Lights, a haunting and memorable book of poetry, as well as his follow-up, the forthcoming Scoring the Silent Film, both from Dream Horse Press.
Poet, novelist, and critic Michael Meyehofer (poetry editor at Atticus Review) shows some love to Brackish in the new issue of Rain Taxi. I am very appreciative of this insightful review. I'm a huge fan of Meyerhofer's poetry. His book Blue Collar Eulogies is just fantastic. But his words about Brackish gave me pause. He understands my work better than I do. And, as I Tweeted the day I read the review: it's a great thing to be read. It's a blessing to be understood. Much thanks to Michael and to the fine folks at Rain Taxi.
From the review:
The poems in Jeff Newberry's Brackish balance grittiness with restraint, taut imagery with dark humor. the result is an intoxicating lyrical energy about as far removed from pretension and sermonizing as one can get.
In his first book, Brackish, Jeff Newberry dredges up images of his native Northern Florida. They rise like silt in brackish water. They make shapes, tell a story, and then settle until some elusive catfish passes again.
I'm humbled by such words. Much love to Lynne Barrett (Florida Book Review's founding editor) for this. Also, thank you, Guillermo Cancio-Bello, for your kind words.
O for a muse of fire,