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Short Takes: December 

Edited by Laurence Carr
Carr’s cornucopia of poetry and prose gathers together a Who’s Who of Hudson Valley authors, including distinguished memoirists Da Chen and Laura Shaine Cunningham, poets Eamon Grennan and Nancy Willard,
and a passel of Chronogram writers. River deep and mountain high, this bountiful book is a joy to read.

Post Traumatic Press 2007: Poems by Veterans

Collected by Dayl Wise
Woodstock editor Dayl Wise assembled this searing rawwhisky anthology by military veterans from World War II to Iraq. New recruits like Jim Murphy, who “just got inpoet-country,” and seasoned writers like Richard Boes,
Larry Winters, and Marc Levy make art from “things that won’t let go.” Proceeds to

Howard Good
Pushcart Prize nominee and SUNY New Paltz professor Good calls the 22 poems in his second chapbook “shards of stories: short, ambiguous, fragmentary.” Straightforward in diction, they’re imbued with a sense of yearning that unfurls in the reader’s imagination: “We’re asleep, no, awake / and full of wild misspellings.”

America Needs a Woman President
Words by Brett Bevel, Drawings by Eben Dodd
This companion to Bevell’s beatific America Needs a Buddhist President is not a pro-Hillary screed but an invocation, simple as a chant, seeking a leader “who can listen when others are speaking.” Illustrator Dodd’s multiethnic prez dons Liberty’s crown, lectures lobbyists, and revivifies Mount Rushmore.

Dennis Doherty
Another outstanding release from New Paltz’s protean Codhill Press. Arresting at first read, dense enough to reward return visits, Doherty’s poetry offers “a pen—an awl to etch the graven acts.” Haifa Mahabir’s book-jacket photos shroud the author in a blindfold, shades, and dangling cigarette, echoing his poems’ intriguing mysteries.

Janine Pommy Vega
The incandescent Vega makes outrage swing in “Habeas Corpus Blues,” lamenting “a system I wish I could hang / from the highest tree” with Nina Sheldon’s stride piano and Michael Esposito’s bass. Betty MacDonald adds violin and vocal wizardry to several poems; five more were recorded live in Italy and Bosnia. Bravissima!

click to enlarge Codhill Press, 2007, $20
  • Codhill Press, 2007, $20
click to enlarge FootHils Publishing, 2007, $7
  • FootHils Publishing, 2007, $7
click to enlarge Monkfish, 2007, $8.95
  • Monkfish, 2007, $8.95
click to enlarge Longhouse Bookselers, 2007, $15 - ww.LonghousePoetry .com
  • Longhouse Bookselers, 2007, $15ww.LonghousePoetry .com
click to enlarge Codhill Press, 2007, $16
  • Codhill Press, 2007, $16
  • A celebration of vibrant new work by Hudson Valley poets and independent presses.


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