Mar 19, 2018 - 01:34 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 33 unregistered users and 0 registered users on-line.

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

Posted by : cj on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 08:58 PM
Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
by Larry Janowski
Puddin'head Press
Reviewd by C. J. Laity

Once again Dave Gecic of Puddin'head press shows off his expertise by publishing Larry's Janowski's BrotherKeeper, one of the finest poetry books to come out in 2007.

Janowski begins his book with a punch and keeps the momentum of his narrative verse going steady up until the last few poems; then they become more self-reflecting and abstract. His lines of poetry are as taut as piano strings and just as musical. In some ways his poems are completely universal, but they always remain unique and original. Though some of his poems at first glance come off as insightful internal thoughts and attitudes, that come to him as he experiences a specific moment in life, there is a lot more going on in the infinite spaces between his lines. Janowski finds deep meaning in the most common of things, such as losing a wallet or being nude. He has a splendid freshness to his subject matter. How many other poems have you read about "Wet Cars" for example, or about a "Transfusion" or about celibacy or spinning around in circles? He often takes a very simple object, such as the Pooh doll in his poem "Face Down", and creates an entire universe around it, and by doing so he shows us that everything in life is connected. At times, Janowski creates clear and concise images existing in vast environments with as few as three words, such as the words "ruin my clothes" in the poem "Sitting Up Nights". The pure magic comes when we see what Larry has not even mentioned, perhaps what he himself has not seen.

A few of his poems do involve brothers, and the wider theme of family relations runs through many of his poems, by means of Janowski's imagination as well as by means of very candid memoir-poems having to do with mental and physical scars. I like how Janowski doesn't give us a moral to his stories, but hits us on the head with reality as if it is a big chunk of ice. The theme of physical contact is also explored often and very powerfully, especially in juxtaposition to the title poem, which is about the tragedy at the Ida B. Wells Project when five-year-old Eric Morse was dropped out of a 14th floor window to his death.

BrotherKeeper is a Chicago classic. There is much Chicago nostalgia in this book. It's as if Janowski soars around the city from neighborhood to neighborhood, landing here or there and giving us glimpses of moments in time. He salutes his city with his dedications to people, many of them recognizable names from the Chicago Poetry Scene. He also focuses in on a lot of local subject matter, such as in the poem "I Have Decided Not To Be...", which is a poem about Chicago that doesn't even use the word Chicago, or his many references to the local weather, or:

when it's as hot as it is today and the Blue Angels
buzzed Chicago with their shock of speed and
warplay and now sweating happy crowds
are heading back home from the lakefront

(from "Blue Angels")

There is no doubt that Janowski has his own signature wit. I enjoyed the occasional bouts of humor in BrotherKeeper, when he plays around with words, such as when he compares his life to the movie Shane in the poem "False Gods", or:

All it really takes to be a man is a why-chromosome,
being dumb enough not to cry when something hurts,
lucky enough to survive boyhood, and enough testosterone
to fight when someone says you throw like a girl,

(from "Superman's Funeral")

but I also enjoyed Janowksi's profound and serious moments:

The God who squeezed chaos into light
without getting dirty under nis nails,
is up to his elbows in mud making you,

(from "Man Making")

Janowski explores a variety of writing styles including found poems and even a cantata. He offers wonderful comparisons and contrasts:

but air cares even less
than water, lets you
slip through,
without even a wake
to mark your passing

(from "BrotherKeeper")

and similes:

I press into strong hands that rub my back
as if I am a lamp with a secret inside . . .

(from "Sitting Up Nights")


. . . the sweet choke
of incense snaking up the sleeve of his cassock
like the call of vocation rising to his brain.

(from "First Words")

Each poem in BrotherKeeper is different than the next, but each poem has something in common with the rest, a musicality to its language that allows it to be strong on the page as well as the stage. The poetry in BrotherKeeper is soaked with a gorgeous sentimentality:

The day his kisses stop
I will not blame him
since I know a man's dread
of softness . . .

(from "The Goodbye Kiss")

I give BrotherKeeper two big quills up.

--CJ Laity

For ordering information about BrotherKeeper, Click Here.

Go Back to the other Top Dogs.

**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 Larry Janowski's new book, BrotherKeeper.

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