Mar 19, 2018 - 01:35 AM  
  Welcome to Chicago Poetry Press
CJ Laity is Mr. Chicago Poetry

Poetry Press

Go to the homepage with calendar
The Chicago Poetry News
Journal of Modern Poetry

Chicago Poetry Scene Top 135

· A Cram On WBEZ
· After Hours Press
· Anobium
· Another Chicago Magazine
· Antena
· Anti-War Poetry
· Apparatus Magazine
· AquaMoon
· Audio Party
· Barbara's Bookstore
· Beach Poets
· Big Other
· Bob Boone's Teacher's Hangout
· Book Cellar
· Book Slut
· Book Stall
· Caffeine Theatre
· Center on Halsted
· Chaotic Radio
· Chicago Amplified
· Chicago Calling
· Chicago Literary Club
· Chicago Poetry Brothel
· Chicago Poetry Club
· Chicago Poetry Project
· Chicago Poetry Neutral Zone
· Chicago Public Library
· ChicagoPublishes (City of Chicago)
· Chicago Reader
· Chicago Readers Blog
· Chicago Shakes
· Chicago Slam Works
· Chicago Writes
· College of Complexes
· Columbia College
· Columbia College Events
· Columbia Poetry Review
· Cracked Slab Books
· Curbside Splendor
· Danny's
· Dollar Store
· Drinking and Writing
· 826 Chicago
· Encyclopedia Show
· Featherproof
· Gapers Block Book Club
· Girl Speak
· Golden Rule Jones
· Green Mill
· Guild Complex
· Gwendolyn Brooks Center
· Homolatte
· Illinois Arts Council
· Illinois Poet Laureate
· Illinois Poets Society
· In One Ear at Heartland Cafe
· JackLeg Press
· KuumbaLynx
· La Bloga
· Lake Forest College
· Lethal Poetry
· Letter eX
· Literago
· Literary Chicago
· Louder Than A Bomb
· Loyola
· Mango Tribe
· March/Abrazo
· Mental Graffiti
· Milk Magazine
· Muzzle
· Myopic Books
· Neighborhood Writing Alliance
· Neutron Bomb
· Newberry Library
· Next Objectivists
· Northwestern
· Northwestern Press
· Oyez Review
· Paper Machete
· Parlor Reading Series
· Partner Dance Press
· PerformInk
· Poetry Center of Chicago
· Poetry Foundation
· Poetry Magazine
· PoetryPoetry
· Poets and Patrons
· Powells
· Printers Ball
· Printers Row Lit Fest
· Proyecto Latina
· Puddin'head Press
· Publish Chicago
· Quickies!
· Quimby's
· Ragdale
· Rambunctious Review
· Reading Under The Influence
· Real Talk Ave
· Rec Room
· Revolving Door
· Red Rover
· Rhino
· 2nd Story
· Series A
· Seven Corners
· Shakespeares Monkeys
· She Writes
· Silver Tongue
· Slampapi Blog
· Small Garlic Press
· Spoon River Review
· StarWallpaper
· Sunday Salon
· Sun Times Books
· Swan Isle Press
· Switchback Books
· Tallgrass Writers / Outrider Press
· The2ndHand
· Third World Press
· Tianguis Bookstore
· TimeOut Books
· TriQuarterly
· Tuesday Funk
· Twilight Tales
· U of C Poetics
· U of C Press
· U of I Press
· Underground Library
· Unscene Chicago
· Vaporacle
· Virtual Artists Collective
· Weeds
· Weighed Words
· Woman Made Gallery
· Woman Made Gallery Audio
· Women and Children First
· Young Chicago Authors

Right Now . . .

There are 39 unregistered users and 0 registered users on-line.

You can log-in or register for a user account here.

Posted by : cj on Sunday, September 18, 2005 - 12:49 PM
Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
by Carol Anderson
The Puddin'head Press, 2005
Reviewed by C. J. Laity

Well folks, Puddin'head Press has done it again. This fine Chicago small press has had an impressive history over the last two decades of being very selective about who it represents. It's list of authors include John Dickson, Lee Kitzis, Robert Boone (of Young Chicago Authors), the late Lawrence Tyler, among others. It recently released a second printing book by Nina Corwin, and it also made the controversial decision to reprint a book by incarcerated Massachusetts poet Norman Porter. This powerful book of poetry by Chicago native Carol Anderson is a fine addition to that line up of titles.

Ordinary is anything but ordinary. As the opening poem "Crossing Alone" suggests with its huge metaphor, there are often many layers to what we consider ordinary. If you consider ". . . the rich earth / and the sun and the wind and the rain" (from "Ordinary Taste") ordinary, then you are prepared for the complexities hidden within.

With what may be considered by some to be "peace" (not war) poems, Anderson tackles ordinary life with awesome insight, as in her portrait of an abusive relationship. These glimpses at stark reality often transcend the material and breach into the metaphysical:

rushed her to the hospital but they knew
in their skin's souls that the chid she carried
within had left only a form behind . . .

(from "Miscarriage")

Anderson presents her subject matter like flash cards, oftentimes jumping through time and space to relate the universality of a phobia or emotion, such as in the poem "Let Me Not Go There" during which we can nearly feel the wind rush by as we soar from one graveyard to the next.

Some of the poems relate to each other as if they are tiny chapters in a story. Within these connections, Anderson takes the time to examine her own process, providing for us with well crafted symbolism an account of how objects or places trigger for her memories, like ghosts that haunt her, and how these memories in turn inspire the writing of her poetry. In the poem "New Year's Day 2005 Birth Of A Poem" Anderson gives an account of what inspired the next poem, "Victory Candle". The first poem begins in the contemporary. The photo of servicemen at the end of World War II on the cover of a book (the object of inspiration) reminds her of her childhood. This memory in turn inspires her to write a poem, called "Victory Candle". She delivers that poem on the next page, and in it the strength of her voice puts "the object of inspiration" (this time, a giant candle) right before our eyes, so that we feel like we can nearly touch it. The two poems work together to create what great poetry should be all about, the effect (that moment when we can see the candle so clearly) being greater than the sum of its parts (the words describing it).

There are moments when the image of the object simply does not come through as clearly, as in the poem "Gravy Boat", but at other times the object becomes so important that it no longer remains for us an ordinary object, but becomes the epiphany of life itself:

That quilt sheltered us
when it was young, down-fluffed,
bright, and warm.
Still, somehow, it holds
an essence of us,
though one is gone
and the other is whitened,
wrinkled and alone.

(from "A Rose Patterned Quilt")

Ordinary is also filled with personal history, so that by book's end, we feel that we know the author as a person. I believe this "human factor" is important in the Millennial Age of poetry, in such a time where it is possible for computer programs to come up with strings of words that sound a lot like postmodern poetry. There are a few poems dedicated to Anderson's friends of the last decade, but Anderson is at her best with narrative poems such as "Swede and Magee" that address her history and the history of her family. She examines how generations affect each other, how the history of a family can repeat itself, such as in the brooding poem "After an Argument with His Teen" during which a father searching for his son recalls when he himself was a teenage runaway.

I think some of the biggest strengths in this book are the strong endings. There are no Hollywood endings in this book. We soon find out that what Anderson means by "ordinary" is reality, and reality can be brutal, as in the poems about a drive by shooting and its aftermath. The endings to these poems certainly do deliver a wallop.

Cease fire, she prayed
or hoped she did
for she could no longer hear

(from "Cease Fire")

But in the end, this book is a celebration of life. If it has a moral it is that the power of love and faith can overcome all hardships, and that actions speak louder than words. It celebrates life, in all its loves, also in all its tragedies:

I was born in the ordinary way
Will die in some ordinary way
And joy in the ordinary in between.

(from "Rhapsody of and in The Ordinary")

For information about how to purchase Ordinary check out The Puddin'head Press or call 1-888-BOOKS98.

--CJ Laity

go back to meshing

**We hope you found the information on this page useful. needs your help. We are holding a fundraising drive in order to stay online. There are two ways that you can help:
Click here to offer a financial gift or click here to order the new book by Press.

Note: Here is a review of Carol Anderson's new book of poetry, Ordinary.

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Contest
· Enter Our Contest
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
Order a book
The Ultimate Chicago Poetry Anthology
Clever Gretel by Jennifer Dotson
JOMP 15 Is Here
Postcards from Poland by Joseph Kuhn Carey
Journal of Modern Poetry 16
Vape Mania
Jomp 17
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
· Buy JOMP 18
· Buy JOMP 19
· Buy JOMP 20
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Publishing
Chicago Poetry Press publishes the highest quality poetry in beautiful, perfect bound editions. We rely on your continued support to operate, because we are not funded by any corporation, foundation, government agency or university. You can always contact
CJ Laity at Publisher@
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  eX-ceptional 150
· Acme Artworks
· Alarm
· American Perspectives
· Answer Tag Home Press
· Area Chicago
· Avant Chicago
· Bailliwik
· Beard of Bees
· Black Arts
· Blossom Bones
· Bohemian Pupil
· Borders Open Door Poetry
· Born Magazine
· Bucktown Arts Fest
· Chance Operations
· Chicago Artists Coalition
· Chicago Cultural Center
· Chicago Dramatists
· Chicago Innerview
· Chicagoist
· Chi Labor Arts Fest Blog
· Chicago Magazine
· Chicago Quarterly
· Chicago Review
· Chicago6Corners
· Chi Town Daily News
· Christian Poets Society
· cinematheque
· Common Review
· Conscious Choice
· Contra Tiempo
· Conundrum
· Court Green
· Crab Orchard
· Cross Roads
· Curious Theatre
· Elastic Arts
· Elder Stories
· EM Press
· Empty Bottle
· F News Magazine
· Fast Geek Press
· Fence
· Fifth Wednesday
· Free Lunch
· Free Street
· Front 40
· Gapers Block
· Gargoyle
· Haiku Society
· Haymarket
· Heartland Cafe
· Hemmingway Foundation
· Highland Park Poetry
· Hotel Amerika
· Hour Glass
· Hull House
· Humanities Fest
· Hyde Park Art
· Improv Olympics
· Intersections
· In These Times
· The Ivory Tower
· Kalamu
· Karamu
· Kedzie Press / The Green Parent
· Lake Claremont
· Lawyers For Arts
· Lisle Library
· Literary Chicago
· Literary Pizazz Radio
· Lit Line
· Links Hall
· Looptopia
· Love Chicago
· Lumpen
· Machine
· Make Magazine
· Manual of Style
· Mayapple Press
· Mayor's Office of Events
· MetroMix
· Mexican Fine Arts
· Midland Authors
· Midwest Literary Fest
· Midwest Zines
· Milk Weed
· Millions
· Moria
· Mule
· Muse Letter
· Naperville Writers
· National Writers Union
· Nelson Algren Committee
· Neofuturists
· Nextbook
· Ninth Letter
· Old Town Folk School
· Open Book
· Osbey Books
· O Sweet Flowery Roses
· Other Voices
· Otium
· Palatine Slam
· Paper and Carriage
· Paper Mustache
· Perpetual Motion
· Plainfield Poetry
· PM Poetry
· Poem Present
· Poetic License
· Poetry Cache
· Poetry Daily
· Poetry Radio
· Poets and Writers
· Poets Kitchen
· Polvo
· Polyphony
· Pudding House
· Punk Planet
· Reconstruction Room
· Redmoon
· Roctober
· Rose Metal
· Room 315
· Rubba Ducky
· Sawbuck
· Scars Publishing
· Screwball
· Second Run
· Seminary Co-op
· Seventen Bishop
· Shark Forum
· Shelter
· Shortpants
· Skeleton News
· Small Happy
· Stop Smiling
· Sourcebooks
· Spareroom
· Spondee
· Stone Jones
· Story Studio
· Story Quarterly
· Street Level
· Teatro Luna
· This Is Grand
· Ticket2Write
· Time Out
· Uncommon Ground
· Unlikely Stories
· UR Chicago
· Venus
· Visions For Chicago
· Wordsfest
· Writers Workspace
· You Are Beautiful
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

Web hosting provided by TechFinesse