A Good Wall



Four poets offer a potpourri of style and vision in this brilliant collection. Katie Hartsock’s hotel metaphor; George Bishop’s acute reflections; Linda Pennisi’s bird-focused prose poems; Jennifer Kearns’s dazzle of myth. Altogether, a lyrical feat of imagination with poems that echo and haunt.—Joan Colby

A Good Wall is built of living walls that not so much separate the four poets who are gathered here but join them. We stay in a hotel with Hartsock where we become “intimate with the unknown.” With Bishop we experience those “resurrections that daze us as we die on.” We open Pennisi’s miniscule boxes and find a vibrant world where we drink from “wherever I am cracked.” We indulge in the hunger of Kearns “[w]here there is nothing left to eat but stones.” This collection is prismatic, containing an incredible range of voices. Each poet presents exquisitely haunting work that seems interconnected at the deepest of levels. This wall is a cell wall—a container of energy. This wall is a rich flowing mural.—Patrick Lawler

A stunning collection of contemporary poetry; whimsical, yet load-bearing, stark with true-life experiences that course seamlessly through the bricks and mortar of each new read. A perfect compilation of translucent building blocks and multi-faceted gems, just transparent enough to let light pass through.—Kevin Heaton

The poems in A Good Wall echo off one another, resonant with lyrical grace. The music argues against the darkness of the finite while enacting the blazing beauty of the momentary. How can simple perception, tied to self-consciousness—an intense self-scrutiny—bring to bear such fruit? Each poet, via his or her own unique formal means, creates an emotional verisimilitude through the particulars of diction, rhythm and metaphor. These poems shine in the darkness with the exquisite joy of small ecstasies, quotidian and surreal. A Good Wall is a remarkable collaboration.—David Dodd Lee


GEORGE BISHOP is the author of Expecting Delays (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and 6 chapbooks, one of which, Following Myself Home, won the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize from Yellow Jacket Press. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Saint Cloud, FL.

KATIE HARTSOCK’s poems have appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Southern Indiana Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, and elsewhere. Originally from Youngstown, OH, she holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University.

JENNIFER KEARNS’s poems have appeared in The Broken Plate literary magazine and in Freshwater magazine. She is an Irish citizen and has worked in New York City as an interpreter. She is currently living in Vienna, Austria with her husband and twin girls.

LINDA TOMOL PENNISI is the author of Seamless (Perugia Press, 2003) and Suddenly, Fruit (Carolina Wren Press, 2006). Originally from Pennsylvania, she lives in Syracuse, NY, where she serves as writer-in-residence in the creative writing program of Le Moyne College.