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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review of River of Bones by Holly Guran

Perfecting a persona in poetry can be a tricky business. Personal feelings to the point of intimacy need to be balanced with distance and a level of objectivity. Holly Guran, in her new collection, River of Bones, achieves this equilibrium with a consistent well-modulated tone. In fact this modulation of diction astonishes with its adeptness whether she is speaking as one of her forebears or a young nineteenth century millworker or herself. Even at her most confessional Guran never descends into the rabbit hole of obsessive self-importance and soggy feelings. Her descriptive words reveal the wonder of both hurt and joy in her chosen contexts. For more of my review of River of Bones go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/05/river-of-bones-poems-by-holly-guran_17.html

Friday, March 31, 2017

Review of Transom by Rick Mullin

Dismal things embedded in a city-scape of soaring architecture gaze outward like Gothic demons into the crisp sunlit clarity of Rick Mullin’s poetic universe. Mullin notices them there and paints their likenesses onto the pages of Transom, his newest collection of ground-breaking poetry. Unlike some of his grander books such as Soutine (a stunning verse biography of a neglected artist) and Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle (a wondrously detailed retelling of Charles Darwin’s epic journey), Mullin scales down his subjects to pedestrian or, more to the point, commuter proportions.

 As a consummate formalist Mullin uses measure and rhyme in a fifteen line sonnet-like invention he calls a Third Sancerre. Appropriately enough the name suggests a French wine region noted for its elegant, yet very drinkable, wines grown in flinty, mineral rich soils. For more of my review of Transom go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/03/transom-poems-2016-by-rick-mullin.html

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review of Message from the Memoirist by Paul Pines

Tick Tock Tick Tock. Hickory, Dickory, Dock…. The various concepts of scientific time tell us almost nothing with their deconstructing conundrums. Nursery Rhymes do conjure up a sense of play and curiosity but then abandon us to the immediate. Only when time intersects with the eternal or the pinned-down specific does meaning appear, gleaned from the residue of the fiery crossover or the accelerated collision. Paul Pines, in his wonderfully illustrated poetry collection entitled Message from the Memoirist, uncovers precious pieces of memory from the dreamscape of mind and transmutes these quark-like particles into summonses that evoke the true nature of fundamental things. The spectacle or rather spectral results can be unsettling. Or exhilarating. Even funny.

 In tracing his expansive memories back to the “time before thought” Pines, presumably dressed in a cowl and carrying a torch, leads us through a primordial darkness. Shades appear and vanish from our reach. A cock crows and dawn’s light drenches with creation all who have passed over the River Lethe again. For more of my review go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/03/message-from-memoirist-poems-by-paul.html

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tuesday, March 7th Poetry Reading

I will be reading my poetry at Harvard University for the New England Poetry Club on March 7, 2017 between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. The reading will be held at the Yenching Library's common room, located at 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge MA. Three other talented poets, Bob Carr, Holly Guran, and Eleanor Kedney, will also read.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review of Hypothetically Speaking by M.K. Sukach

Just sayin. Apocalypse by Raptors. Toasting Death. Scatological Pledge. Hell’s Bill. Mindless Breathing. Cataclysmic Ponder. Robotic Hearts. Just sayin.

 Poems of wrath and dire suppositions dare us to awaken and live darkly in Hypothetically Speaking, M.K. Sukach’s new collection of fractured visions. This poet knows how to destroy with graven logic and malefic lyric. Never close enough for out- -and-out rage, Sukach sets up his alternate universes with a dastardly sharp and shifting wit, enticing us down some pretty idiosyncratic narrative paths. for more of my review of Hypothetically Speaking go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/02/hypothetically-speaking-by-mk-sukach.html

Friday, February 17, 2017

Upcoming Readings

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM I'll be reading for the New England Poetry Club at Harvard University. The event will be in the Yenching Library common room, located at 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA. Three other talented poets, Bob Carr, Holly Guran, and Eleanor Kedney, will also read.

On Saturday, April 8, 2017 I'll give a short reading at the Boston National Poetry Month Festival, held in the Commonwealth Room of the Boston Public Library. I'm scheduled to read with other poets between 1:00 PM and 2:10 PM.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review of 21 Ghazals by Alisher Navoiy

Denise Provost reviews my translation, Twenty-One Ghazals by Alisher Navoiy, in the Somerville Times. Here is the link:  http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/73844

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review of Spirit Boxing by Afaa Michael Weaver

How does a man endure a lifetime of mind-numbing physical work, then go on to write a body of profound, ethereal poetry unlike anything else being written today? Ask poet Afaa Weaver. He’s not the first poet/writer that has broken out of a hard knocks life. But his measured, sometimes soaring verse, distilled from years of drudgery, offers up an unusual intoxication worthy of the most engaging, indeed the best, of modern writing.

 Using Chinese mystical metaphors Afaa Weaver, in his new book Spirit Boxing, revisits his coming-of-age experiences and blue collar workplaces he and others labored in with keen insight and a racial sensitivity both adamant and gentle. For more of my review of Spirit Boxing go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/02/spirit-boxing-by-afaa-michael-weaver.html 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Twenty-One Ghazals Available

My new translation of Twenty-One Ghazals by Alisher Navoiy is available at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, 6 Plympton St., Cambridge Ma and Wicked Good Books, 215 Essex Street, Salem MA.

Small Press Distribution will have them shortly.
Also available from the publisher here:  http://www.thelostbookshelf.com/d.html#Dennis

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Review of An Emigrant's Winter by Pui Ying Wong

Small moments in the starkness of infinite space create their own palace of eloquent imagery in Pui Ying Wong’s An Emigrant’s Winter. Stringing a plethora of similes together, Wong constructs her architecture of muscular arches, lyrical spires, and exquisitely positioned lattices within her picture-perfect stanzas and flowing icicle-laden lines. Indeed, each multi-sided poem seems to defy gravity by rising above us into the frigid atmosphere of faceted and timeless exhilaration. For more of my review of An Emigrant's Winter go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2017/01/an-emigrants-winter-by-pui-ying-wong.html

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ed Meek reviews my translation Twenty-One Ghazals

My newest book of translations has been reviewed by Ed Meek. Here is the link:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2016/12/gifts-from-samarkind-by-ed-meek-review.html

Anthology Publication

Two of my poems, Little Misery Island and Great Misery Island, from my third book, Night Walking with Nathaniel, are included in the anthology Realms of the Mothers, published by Dos Madres Press.  I'm honored to be included in this beautifully designed book with so many talented poets.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Twenty-One Ghazals Released

My latest book of translations, Twenty-One Ghazals by Alisher Navoiy, has just been released by Cervena Barva Press.

Here is the link: http://www.thelostbookshelf.com/d.html#Dennis

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Fair

On Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the Cambridge Public Library (community room, lowest level) there will be a book fair and sale with a number of short poetry readings. The event is hosted by the New England Poetry Club (NEPC) from noon to 4:30 pm. I'll be reading a few of my poems at 1:15 pm.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Poetry Reading on Nov. 15th

I will be reading from my new book, Sentinel, at the Newton Free Library on Tuesday, Nov.15th at 7pm. Two other poets will also read: Tom Lyons and U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo. Here is the link: http://newtonfreelibrarypoetryseries.blogspot.com/

Review of Collisions On a Non-Existent Highway by Rosalyn Marhatta

Avoid the musk of Orient jungles and the threat of tiger paws. Or don’t. Rosalyn Marhatta’s Collisions on a Non-Existent Highway doesn’t.  Instead, she entices her readers into a movable feast of dangerous love, loss, and longing. She infuses her stanzas with cardamom-spiced passions in a pulao of cultural contradictions. From the first poem, Beware the Tiger Burning Bright, the exotic captures the imagination (not to mention the lust) of Marhatta’s youthful persona. For more of my review go here:  http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2016/11/collisions-on-non-existent-highway-by.html

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pushcart Nomination

I want to thank Zvi Sesling, the editor of Muddy River Poetry Review, for nominating my poem, Publius Claudius, for a Pushcart prize. Other fine poets such as Doug Holder, Gloria Mindock, and Marge Piercy were also nominated. Here is a link to that poem:  http://www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com/Oct%202016/Dennis%20Daly.pdf

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans' Day 2016

Veterans' Day 2016



My Boy Jack  -- by Rudyard Kipling


'Have you news of my boy Jack?'
Not this tide.
'When d'you think that he'll come back?'
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
'Has anyone else had word of him?'
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing and this tide.

'Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?'
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind-
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.
Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review of From Nothing by Daniel Tobin

Melding together physics, mysticism, and mathematics, Daniel Tobin, in his epic paean to Jesuit priest and scientist Georges Lemaitre entitled From Nothing, creates and choreographs a twentieth century re-conjured world of cosmological wonder and Dantean horror. He conveys his tale to us in extraordinary lines of narrative poetry.  Tobin’s writing explodes onto the page with white-hot intensity, its numinous words and birthing suns expanding and cooling first into elegance and then into a compassionate understanding of our human condition. For more of my review of From Nothing go here:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

5 new poems published by Muddy River Poetry Review

Issue 15, Fall 2016, of Muddy River Poetry Review is out. I am the special feature with five poems. Other fine poets are also included such as Doug Holder, Lee Varon, Tomas O'Leary, George Held, Gloria Mindock, Emily Ferrara, and Marge Piercy.  here is the link for my poems: http://www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com/Oct%202016/Dennis%20Daly.pdf

Here is the link to the entire issue. Check out the intros:  http://www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com/

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review of Against Sunset by Stanley Plumly

Stanley Plumly hobnobs with dead people – romantic poets, contemporary poets, and personal relations. Whether citing real or imagined incidents from diaries or first-hand memories evoked from his past life, Plumly uses his verses to delve into the meaning of mortality and the mystery of life itself. He gently sorts out the strange draws and the nagging fears inherent in that “good night,” and explores those inclinations with a lyricism that mesmerizes his undaunted readers. For more of my review of Against Sunset go here:


Friday, October 7, 2016

Poetry Reading in Salem, MA -- November 5, 2016

On November 5, 2016 at 12:00 noon I will be reading from my new books of poetry at Derby Joe CafĂ©, located at 142 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970. The reading will be 2 hours long and hosted by In the Afternoon Press. Other poets will also be reading.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Coming Very Soon: Twenty-One Ghazals


Here is the cover of my new book of translations, Twenty-One Ghazals by Alisher Navoiy. It should be released in the next couple of weeks by Cervena Barva Press.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Review of Loom by Kevin Gallagher

In the pre-dawn hours of August 21, 1863, during the American Civil War, William Quantrill led his infamous raid on Lawrence, Kansas, murdering at least 185 men and boys. The Confederate irregulars rode into the city, about 400 strong, with lists of their intended victims. Once there many of them simply shot any male that they could lay their hands on. Northern abolitionists, who largely populated Lawrence, were the hated targets. This attack culminated years of strife in pre-war “Bleeding Kansas” between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, as well as the strange lead-up to this discord rooted in New England’s textile industry decades earlier. For more of my review go here: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2016/09/loom-by-kevin-gallagher.html