a few recent reviews at RHINO
blud by Rachel Mckibbens
In blud, her third full length collection, Rachel McKibbens invites us into a house, “dirty / but comfortable” where “Behind each crooked door / waits the angry weather / of a forgiveless child.” The speaker is both that child and the parent, grappling with forgiveness and with being forgiven. While the book is heavy with the storms of hereditary mental illness and generational violence, it is also shot through with searing bolts of self-affirmation and fidelity to the blud that is thicker than blood.
revelations by ruben Quesada
The title Revelations and the cover’s detail from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights signal that Ruben Quesada’s new chapbook will travel in and upend religion. While the collection eschews Bosch’s lewdness, it blooms with the inversions in his garden. In Quesada’s poems, the lyric bursts unexpectedly in the narrative; holy and mundane morph and intermix.
The Carrying by Ada LImón
In “A Name,” the opening poem of Ada Limón’s The Carrying, the speaker wonders if Eve, while naming fauna—“fiddler crab, fallow deer”—ever wished for the animals to name her. The poem presents a window into the collection: Eve, as poet, has the power to name, but she also looks to nature for answers about herself.