Monday, May 08, 2006

One Art. Juliana Bures. Cheryl Reed Devitt. A.S. Henderson. George Locke. Cam Terwilliger. Edited by Julia G. Henderson. $12.

Julia G. Henderson, the editor of the poetry anthology “One Art,” writes in her introduction:

“This anthology was conceived based on my hope to highlight the work of five talented twenty-somethings. The voice of each writer is unique, and reflects a wide range of emotions and beliefs, and the images are modern and striking. With the anthology, I also hope to pay homage to the art of the small press publishing and self-publishing, as a forum in which the thinkers, philosophers, artists and writers of our time can let their voices be heard.”

Being a long-time small press publisher and editor myself, I was like a dog on a meat truck when I read this introduction. Henderson, a graduate of the Emerson College (Boston), writing and publishing program, has created a winning- looking book complimented by the abstract artwork of George Locke.

In any anthology there is a mixed bag of work. In “One Art,” there are more than a few choices morsels to whet a poetry-lover’s appetite.

Somerville poet Juliana Bures in her poem “”Determine The Source,” writes of our world of chaos, and the fa├žade of control:

“The sky is an endless layer upon the world,
a blanket to the wild.
Clouds come to cover,
but the sun burns above, always,

The procession is constant,
forward is the way the water flows.
Slants stretch out the afternoon,
without any purpose other than to begin again.

The world is an endless layer
cradling what cannot be controlled.”

Cheryl Reed Devitt has a simple but evocative poem about the sweet and not so sweet mystery of love, titled “i used to.”

“love a boy with blue eyes,
but he moved away. and
he didn’t know what to do
with me, nor i him,
i suppose.

i used to be sure
it was all figured out
it was all a done deal
‘til these past couple days
came and ripped the threads out…”

To have a book published is thrilling; which I am sure is the case with these young poets. And to have a book published with such high production values is even more thrilling. “One Art” is a welcomed addition to the world of the small press, and showcases the work of these talented poets admirably.

Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update

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