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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Review of On the Meaning of Human Being, Heidegger and the Bible in Dialogue by Richard Oxenberg

Not since Saint Thomas Aquinas channeled Aristotle by way of Boethius in Summa Theologica have philosophy and theology met in such an unexpected and enlightened way. Richard Oxenberg in his new book, On the Meaning of Human Being, Heidegger and the Bible in Dialogue, uses a framework employed by the estimable (and somewhat infamous) Martin Heidegger to get at the ethical basis of humanity and the relevance of religion in the twenty-first century.

The first half of the Oxenberg book sets up his secular and foundational approach as well as developing a tool box of helpful terms and delving philosophic concepts. His choice of Heidegger seems at first rather odd (more on that later) and then… and then… not so much. Being and Time, Heidegger’s breakthrough work of phenomenological investigations, is clearly up to the task. Oxenberg manipulates Heidegger’s perceptions masterfully, architecturally structuring his own original arguments from them with deftness and certainty. For more of my review go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2019/01/on-meaning-of-human-being-by-richard.html

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My poem How to Set a Ruby published

My poem How to Set a Ruby has just been published in Issue 10, Winter 2019 of Nixes Mate. Thank you to editors Philip Borenstein, Anne Pluto, and Michael McInnis. The poem is included in my first-person, 82 sonnet sequence entitled The Devil's Artisan, based on the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, a Renaissance goldsmith, poet and sculptor. Here is the link:  http://nixesmate.pub/how-to-set-a-ruby/ 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Ibbetson Street Pushcart Nominations

My poem An Ordinary Day (Ibbetson Street #43) has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Thank you to the publisher and editors of Ibbetson Street. I'm honored. Congrats to the other nominees: Laura Cherry, Kathleen Aguero, Mary Buchinger, Elizabeth S. Wolf, and Lucy Holstedt.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

My Poem Salt Cellar published by The Ekphrastic Review

My poem entitled salt Cellar has been published by the Ekphrastic Review. The poem is part of  The Devil's Artisan, a collection of 80 sonnets based on the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, a Renaissance goldsmith, sculptor, and poet. Here is the link:  http://www.ekphrastic.net/the-ekphrastic-review/salt-cellar-by-dennis-daly

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review of Shot in the Head by Lee Varon

How can one not read this book? From its provocative title—Shot in the Head, through its narration of adultery, revenge, edgy family lore, religious hatred, and racial violence, Lee Varon leads her readers to a generational promised land of understanding and bone-rattling reconciliation.  

 Varon’s verse insights of damaged human beings in a deeply flawed culture are breathtaking. She pieces together her family history by chronicling a close knit, loving, but paradoxically fraught relationship with her undisputedly bigoted grandmother. Poetic short lines and stanza breaks both heighten events and invite atypical considerations of moral dilemmas among kith and kin. As one reads the geographical happenings of Petersburg, Virginia, circa 1930s, one can’t miss the contemporary racial and religious implications. In short Varon seems to have conjured up a psychological portrayal of singular significance.  For more of my review go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/11/shot-in-head-by-lee-varon.html

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review of Green Midnight by Stuart Bartow

Breeziness in poetry has its advantages. Stuart Bartow draws one into his new book, Green Midnight, with an easy, light touch. Martian cat women, New Age vampires, cannibal Sirens, and quacking ravens open the collection by amusing and baiting the unwary reader as he or she drifts inexorably into the poet’s sublime and deepening hive of nowhere and everywhere. For more of my review of Green Midnight go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/08/green-midnight-by-stuart-bartow.html

Monday, July 2, 2018

R.I.P. Paul Pines

Paul Pines has died. A wonderful poet, memoirist, novelist, Jungian therapist, and jazz aficionado (He founded the Tin Palace Jazz Club in New York and hosted the annual Lake George Jazz Festival), Paul seemed to navigate through life on a whirlwind of energy. He also directed a performance of my translation of Sophocles' Ajax at Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs, New York. Paul's stage directions and casting choices were inspired. Condolences to his family. Rest in peace, Paul. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review of In Praise of the Useless Life

After living six decades in the Cistercian (Trappist) Monastery of Gethsemani, Paul Quenon has written a quiet, self-effacing journal of the heart, which periodically breaks out into syllabic dance and grammatical song. This memoir purports to portray the life of an ordinary man living in an unconventional community, a spiritual haven that attracts both simple penitents and intellectual paragons. However, a man, who keens at the death of trees, claims Emily Dickenson as his soul sister, writes exquisite poetry, and engages in a mysticism that he calls “the choreography of heaven” doesn’t strike me as ordinary at all. For more of my review go here:  https://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/06/in-praise-of-useless-life-monks-memoir.html

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review of What I Got For A Dollar by Bert Stern

If ever there were a tour de force of poetic cravings this is it. What I Got for a Dollar is Bert Stern’s third poetry collection and it’s magnificent. Stern craves deeply, but not shrilly, the cause behind the cause of creation. He makes the basic argument for divinity’s possibility as deftly as Thomas Aquinas ever did. Perhaps better. In fact the somewhat absentminded Deity that Stern conjures up behind his naturalistic images seems eminently likable, albeit dependent on humanity for help in keeping up appearances.   

Everything depends on the focus in Stern’s poems. In one poem he considers the micro world, Blake’s grain of sand. In other contexts the poet ponders over what he curiously calls “the ordinary.” Occasionally he jumps off the earth’s edge to commune with more fearsome, macro and fiery powers. Even the political and the comic are not beyond Stern’s observational attention. Also, throughout the collection, the poet works in an exquisite commentary on aging. He embeds it in both his persona’s longings and perceptions. For more of my review go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/05/what-i-got-for-dollar-poems-by-bert.html

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pantoums Sold Locally

My new book entitled Pantoums is now being sold locally at the Wicked Good  Books independent bookstore, located at 215 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Reading for the Boston National Poetry Festival

On Saturday April 7, 2018 I will be reading my poetry as part of the Boston National Poetry Festival (April 4th to 8th). I'm scheduled to read at 1:20 p.m. or shortly thereafter. The readings will be held at the Boston Public Library in the Commonwealth Salon. The library is located at 700 Boylston Street.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Uzbek translation

Thank you very much to A'zam Obidov for his very capable translation of my poem, New World, into Uzbek. The poem was originally published in a collection entitled Custom House (Ibbetson Street Press, 2012) Mr. Obidov recently interviewed me in Cambridge on the subject of my translation of Alisher Navoiy' s poetry, Twenty-One Ghazals (Cervena Barva Press, 2016). Here is the link, https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fm.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dp22fuSDv19U%26t%3D12s&h=ATONKd5HNF-WMkoM9-jvr9CwBoU4H0gpxoFviS54nBtyPoRRgHUe6lqvJC2RAYb90hfYYJCPMpiwYtdobmjTqNcKpQ1tnZxvoNziLvfM_19BgKwMYdvytUOdg5zHrNE

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Link to Online Version of NDR

Notre Dame Review helpfully puts many of its printed works online also. Here is the link to my review of Marc Vincenz's book-long poem entitled Sibylline:  https://ndreview.nd.edu/assets/267303/daly_review.pdf

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review of Pearl by Lawrence Kessenich

Masked by its modest size and critically unconsidered, at least until now, because of the small number of available copies, Pearl, Lawrence Kessenich’s new chapbook, spellbinds the reader both as a commentary on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and, in its own right, as a compilation of compelling and elegant poetry.

 Besides the exquisite simplicity of the book’s design, Pearl astounds with a life-affirming passion rarely exhibited in contemporary American verse. Kessenich constructs his poems solidly, but somehow the spirit of their subject/ narrator hovers over his whole collection, seemingly moving from piece to piece. The poet includes five interludes of prosaic Hawthorne-speak, which knit the poems together and elucidate the strange personal connection between Hawthorne and the most impish of his fictional characters. For more of my review of Pearl go here:  http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesomervilletimes.com%2Farchives%2F82104&h=ATMbmzGR1D0C3Fl8WOIfCOJFGmlvKuVuQLKoG3e35hfaKr-do64gA_WcPkXbc05cJZ8emoBNsVZ4rlY5XmjtyPFVCA3OxeeMK6XFpq_npHev3zDL3CSwq7koPXpRY_w

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review Published in Notre Dame Review

Notre Dame Review, Number 45, Winter/Spring 2018 issue is out. My review of Marc Vincenz's Sibylline is included. Thank you to Executive Editor Kathleen J. Canavan and the other involved editors. The issue also includes two new pieces by Vincenz.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review of Unquiet Vigil by Paul Quenon

Out of great silence and temporal restraint comes an exquisite rush of words and, in turn, transcendental passion. Paul Quenon, in his latest book, Unquiet Vigil, belies the conventional understanding of repetitive monastic rituals, mystic self-abnegation, and meandering walls that delimit (at least metaphorically) wandering monks from worldly desires and ambitions. Quenon’s words soar with freedom’s exhilarating ardor, sustained by the fearlessness of his faith and the innate disposition of his environment, an unusual combination. Or, perhaps not. His poetry does not filter; it simply records quiet rhythms and perceives the essential forms of nature in compelling ways.

 Born in West Virginia coal country, Quenon entered Our Lady of Gethsemani Trappist monastery, near Bardstown Kentucky, in 1958 at the age of seventeen. His novice master, spiritual advisor, and poetry mentor was the renowned Thomas Merton. For the last twenty or so years the monastery has supported Quenon’s artistic endeavors (he has published five previous books of poetry and produced some extraordinary photography).
For more of my review go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/02/unquiet-vigil-new-and-selected-poems-by.html

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Zvi Sesling reviews Pantoums

Thank you to Zvi Sesling, Brookline's Poet Laureate and the Editor of Muddy River Poetry Review, for his nice review of my new book Pantoums

Here's the Link: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2018/01/pantoums-by-dennis-daly.html

Friday, January 19, 2018

Pantoums Now Available

My new book Pantoums has arrived. It is available at the Grolier Book Shop, 6 Plympton St., Cambridge MA.

It is also available at Dos Madres Press: www.dosmadres.com

Soon it will be available on Amazon and at other bookshops


Thursday, December 21, 2017

My pantoum Thought just published

My pantoum Thought has just been published by Solstice Literary Magazine. This poem is included in my soon-to-be-published book entitled Pantoums (Dos Madres Press). It is, as far as I know, the first and only book entirely of pantoums ever published. My thanks to the editors of Solstice. Very strong issue, beautifully done. Here is the direct link.  https://solsticelitmag.org/content/thought/  but take a look at the other very original and diverse offerings too.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Review of Filched by James Tolan

Without an intermediary, a thickly (or at least thinly) constructed persona to absorb sentiment’s backwash, confessional poetry often erodes and collapses of its own weight. Some of it can be downright dangerous. In his new book, Filched, James Tolan avoids that pathetic destructiveness using tonal restraint, irony, and damn good storytelling. Each poem Tolan breathes onto his pages burns with a purloined joy, freed from time’s untoward tyranny. For more of my review go here:   http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/12/filched-poems-by-james-tolan.html

Monday, November 20, 2017

Poetry Reading December 5th Salem Athenaeum

    I will be reading my poetry on Tuesday December 5th at the Salem Athenaeum with some other very talented Salem writers including Kathleen Aguero, Richard Hoffman, Ashley Skeffington, Beth Ann Cornell, Susanna Baird and Liz Hutchinson. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. The Athenaeum is located at 337 Essex St., Salem, MA.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Two Poetry Reviews Published by Print Journals

Two of my reviews have just been accepted for publication by print journals. My review of Marc Vincenz's book Sibylline, published by Ampersand Press, and entitled Into the Labyrinth: The Construction of a 21st Century Poetics has been accepted by Notre Dame Review (Notre Dame University, Indiana). Also my review of David Rivard's book Standoff, published by Graywolf Press, has been accepted by Ibbetson Street (Ibbetson Street Press / Endicott College, Massachusetts).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review of The Aeneid, translated by David Ferry

Whether carrying his father and leading his son out of a burning city, navigating his fleet through a tsunami, escaping a Carthaginian seductress, visiting the forbidden realm of Hades, or engaging in mortal combat with a Latin prince, Aeneas, in David Ferry’s new and superbly rendered translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, conveys the destiny of civilization forward into its ordained future. This epic journey with episodic tragedies, and mythological wonders still captures the imagination of modern readers perplexed by their own earthly impediments and those nasty, ill-deserved thunderbolt strikes from above.

 Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil) wrote The Aeneid for Octavian Caesar Augustus during the last ten years of his life (29-19 BC). He at first ordered his executors to burn the unedited manuscript. Octavian apparently intervened and countermanded that directive. Some critics argue that the book’s purpose was to justify Augustan succession and ultimately Pax Romana. Others believe that Virgil turned his work into something much larger, an allegory of man’s destiny and independence in the face of intruding forces emanating from a panoply of misanthropic and whimsical divinities. In any case, the narrative seems to take on a life of its own, at times brutally realistic, at other times strangely comforting. For more of my review of The Aeneid, translated by David Ferry go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-aeneid-by-virgil-translated-by.html