In Divide and Rule, Walid Bitar delivers a sequence of dramatic monologues, variations on the theme of power, each in rhymed quatrains. Though the pieces grow out of Bitar’s personal experiences over the last decade, both in North America and the Middle East, he is not primarily a confessional writer. Bitar’s enigmatic speakers are partially rational creatures, have some need to explain, and may succeed in partially explaining, but, in the end, communication and subterfuge are inseparable – must, so to speak, co-exist.
Basma Kavanagh’s debut collection, Distillō, engages the natural world and seeks to explore our relationship to it. Hers is a poetics of description which subverts scientific observation and the authoritative language of nomenclature for mythopoetic ends. This is a book which turns over rocks and looks under them in search of truth in its soft, damp hiding places, poems which instruct us to “descend. Blend /your knowing with the breath of earth”.
The Love Monster is the tall tale of one woman’s struggle with mid-life issues. Missy Marston takes the reader on a hilarious journey of recovery. Hope comes in various forms including a love-sick alien speaking in the voice of Donald Sutherland. More than an irreverent joyride, The Love Monster is also a sweet and tender look at the pain and indignity of being an adult human and a sincere exploration of the very few available remedies: art, love, religion, relentless optimism, and alien intervention. (RobsonReadingSeries)