More reviews

Memory Palace has been getting some more good reviews around the blogosphere. The most recent, and possibly our favorite so far, was by artist and poet Carolee Sherwood. She reviewed not just the chapbook itself but also the experience of reading it, in quintessential personal blogging style. Her comments about the contrast between trying to read the chapbook here versus the printed edition were especially interesting to us as publishers:

I had already enjoyed parts of the collection online, but I hadn’t made it all the way through on-screen. I find it easier to absorb — or climb into — print documents. I honestly believe (especially since the online version of this chapbook is gorgeous and user-friendly) that I fail the technology, not the other way around. Case in point: every time I read the title online (A Walk Through the Memory Palace) I read it as memory “place,” not “palace.” There’s a huge difference! And I didn’t correct myself until I held it in my hands.

Sherwood drew some larger lessons from the book, as well.

As intricate as the language and images can be in A Walk Through the Memory Palace by Pamela Johnson Parker, her poetry reminds us an ache is an ache is an ache. If we are fully in our bodies, the sensation of desire (sexual longing) is the same as sadness or heartache. Although we may say sexual attraction feels “good” and sadness feels “bad,” the weight and throb is nearly identical in our cores once we pull off the specifics of the stimuli. That is my primary experience of Parker’s chapbook […] and it was extremely powerful.

We were pleased to get a review in one of the more popular North American nature blogs, Somewhere in NJ. “78 RPM” was a favorite: “I loved the way those opening lines invited me in and left me waiting for whatever might happen… waiting for the knowing smile I came to by the poem’s end.” And like Robbi Nester earlier, Laura was struck by “Some Yellow Tulips.” At least one reader concurred that it was an unusually effective poem.

North Carolina poet and editor Jessie Carty posted a review at her personal blog, 58 Inches.

My favorite poem in the collection: “Archaic Fragments” is a perfect example of the poet’s skill with language and her obvious love of words. The first fragment is NARCISSUS: NARKE and Parker writes, “For days the gods talk / Of nothing but your / / Spine in the dark, white / Coral . . .” I just love the description of the spine in the dark and the fantastic contrast by comparing it to white coral. This kind of fresh image coupled with unique word choice is a hallmark of Parker’s collection. She seems to build her poems word by word.

And finally, Elizabet Switaj (Daughter of the Ring of Fire) reviewed it for the global feminist community blog Gender Across Borders.