Titles Available for Review
If you would like to review for Terrapin Books, send an email briefly telling us a bit about yourself. Once you receive confirmation, please select a title from the following list of new titles. We will then send you a pdf of the book. Once your review has been placed, we will send you a complimentary hard copy of the title you reviewed or any other Terrapin book of your choice as long as we have it in stock. Writing reviews is a valuable service for the poetry community. It is also excellent training for those who wish to eventually have their own poetry books.
Our poets are also happy to be interviewed for journals and blogs.
Our poets are also happy to be interviewed for journals and blogs.
Terrapin recently published or is about to publish the following wonderful new titles. Each entry includes one blurb and a link to the poet’s Terrapin page where you can see bio, cover, and link to the poet’s website:
Heather Swan, Dandelion
In beautifully lyrical language, Heather Swan evokes both the broken human world of self-inflicted damage (pesticides, herbicides, “the noise of industry and ego”) and the healing natural world of replenishment and repair (rock, bird, water, animal, plant, air). If, for Swan, the human body is “a desert drilled for petroleum,” “a trout stream dying,” “a splinter pulled from a tree,” it is also “an astral body,” “a celestial body,” “a body of light.” Whether lamenting the death of a beloved father or the loss of an endangered species; meditating speculatively on the post-apocalyptic thoughts of Noah’s wife; riffing on the likes of Kermit the Frog, Wile E. Coyote, or Piglet and Winnie the Pooh; or simply delighting in the freshness and vividness of experience, Swan illuminates the depths of our daily lives. For a reader, gifted with such honest, clear-eyed, evocative and restorative poems as these, there is “Nothing left to say but, / thank you. / Thank you.”
—Ron Wallace, For a Limited Time Only
Saba Husain, Elegy for My Tongue
In Saba Husain’s Elegy for My Tongue, the everyday is always in conversation with the enormous—with the complexities of immigration, national identity, mortality, language and faith. The simplicity of a grandmother helping her grandson study for a test becomes a meditation on family history, discovering how “paper remembers a steaming cup of black tea/ with cardamom and milk, / and the glide of a fountain pen.” Or a clothesline whipping in the wind, “flinging clothes stiff from the sun/ into the air like/ mammoth butterflies,” leads to the knowledge of the private self within the enormity of family and history, the self that almost wants to be revealed. This book spans nations and languages, generations, and the tiniest moments of insight and discovery. Saba Husain writes with musical intelligence, with grace and clarity that seem almost effortless. This is a terrific book, one that I will return to with pleasure.
Helena Mesa, Where Land Is Indistinguishable from Sea
Helena Mesa’s Where Land Is Indistinguishable from Sea takes readers on a profound journey of
self-discovery, personal growth, and transformation in the aftermath of grief. The poems in the
collection address the risk of forgetting, recognizing the darkness that threatens to consume
anything lost. Despite this uncertainty, the poems remind us that we are a sanctuary of
memories, begging to be loved and cherished, even if we must eventually let go. Mesa
confronts a world that is constantly divided. Masterfully composed, these poems are full of
light, radiating with a “wild joy,” for the living that longs to shine and be remembered.
Kathy Nelson, The Ledger of Mistakes
“Why remember the dead?” poet Kathy Nelson begins this sobering meditation, a descent and rise through what’s lost and sometimes found again, her keen eye on the natural world, her mother in the Bardo and in life, both trouble and love restored, unshakable grief, regret, triumph, mystery… And why exactly? Because we need these poems as lens, as touchstone. And such lovely, startling interventions of language and image! Vivid detail, layer upon layer—say, a “landscape stitched with fencerows,” or to hold a breath “until someone unlocks the door.” That someone is this most remarkable poet. “Last night,” Nelson writes, “I found a hidden stairway leading down/into a maze of rooms …” And what a rewarding gift for all of us, to follow her there.
Andrea Hollander, And Now, Nowhere But Here
"Hollander's impeccable conversational diction does just what a poem should do; it raises the hairs on the nape of your neck."—Maxine Kumin, US Poet Laureate, 1981-1982
"Andrea Hollander knows what to hold back as she lets us in. And so we willingly bring ourselves into her subtly registered emotional world. There's a lovely blend of qualities-an unsparing eye, and a heart that humanizes what that eye sees."—Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 2001
"Some days, I think that hope is such a long way away, and then I read a poet like this-and life is in full gear."—Grace Cavalieri, Poet Laureate of Maryland, 2019
"I wish that other people would write about personal experience the way Hollander does: there's so much wisdom and depth in her poems that I'm forced more deeply into my own life, and I emerge knowing things I didn't know, or didn't know I knew."—Martha Collins, William Carlos Williams Award, 2022
Mildred Barya, The Animals of My Earth School
In the compassionate, playful, fable-like poems of The Animals of My Earth School, Mildred Kiconco Barya awakens us to the vividly singing, fully alive, non-human communities surrounding us. These poems demonstrate poetry’s unique ability to prick us from our self-involved numbness and awaken us to wonder. There is great solace, tenderness, and innocence here—the kind of innocence capable of apprehending the creatures of the world—and thus the world itself—afresh. Like a literary Noah’s ark of song, The Animals of My Earth School provides a place where all may dance and thrive. These poems provide pleasure and a glimmer of hope. —Michael Hettich
Rachel Custer, Flatback Sally Country
Rachel Custer’s Flatback Sally Country is hard-hitting and harrowing and almost hypnotically beautiful in its deft singing of the stories of America’s vast middle, of the flyover land pinned beneath the derision of coastal elites. Personas like Tommy Two Fingers, Old Maid, and Flatback Sally herself tell us of lives “lived alone behind / the turned back of the world,” nursing “the desperate shame // of broken teeth, of ugliness / that can’t afford disguise.” Think holler; think burnt-out, spit-out coal town; think meth; think whole communities sunk into the grave-deep rut of poverty. Violence is done in this book, to factory workers’ bodies “feeding [them]selves in pieces to machines” to keep America’s shelves stocked, and to women, especially those kinds of women, like Sally, so often hooked and gutted by men’s wants and needs. Flatback Sally Country is a timely, vitally important book by one of the most gifted young poets writing today.
Ann Fisher-Wirth, Paradise Is Jagged
In this extraordinary collection, Ann Fisher-Wirth looks levelly at mortality, grief, and memory, and reckons with what it is to be urgently alive, bringing her incisive nuance to subjects ranging from the loss of a beloved sister to Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary to our imperiled natural world to the comforts of marital love. In “Wooden Comb,” Fisher-Wirth writes, “I cannot reconcile how the world is sweet, how the world is burning.” Paradise Is Jagged is too wise a book to promise impossible reconciliation. Instead it offers a benediction of sorts: Walk with me through this difficult and tender place, it says. Willingly, gratefully, we do.
—Catherine Pierce, Danger Days, 2021-2025 Mississippi Poet Laureate
Melanie McCabe, The Night Divers
Melanie McCabe’s third collection moves like a record, cyclical and singing. These elegiac poems turn over the tender and fraught intimacy of two sisters—one gone and one left to tell their story. The reader is invited into their shared history via a wonderfully precise imagination that is grounded in the real. This speaker is haunted, not by spirits, but by the physical world that her sister has departed, as in the opening of “Days That Should Have Been Yours”: “Damp earth and honeysuckle rise into the air / I am left with.” Each poem brims with a quiet intensity. As a collection, they hover like a murmuration—cohesive, sensual, just high enough to see everything clearly.
—Danielle Cadena Deulen
Wendy Drexler, Notes from the Column of Memory
From the first poem “Red-Eared Slider” through to the final “All the Hours the Night Has Left,” Drexler weaves a tapestry of love, loss, grief, and acceptance—an elaborate kaddish in which she celebrates and sanctifies the names of the things, events, and persons she remembers. Notes from the Column of Memory is a much needed collection that will underscore for every reader the need to document, accept, and sing the hardships, the sorrows, and joys we are all born to—bound to. This is one of the most moving offerings of poetry I have read in a long time. And, for me, the experience of reading it is captured in one of the volumes many memorable lines: it is . . . a hustle of tart and sweet so sharp it hurt.
Beverly Burch, Leave Me a Little Want
Beverly Burch’s beautiful book is full of deeply sensory and shape-shifting sonnets. Each line is full of the world’s heft, its hustled minutes, and its urgent joys. In imperatives and questions, riddles and rumors, and unholy green born again in mud, Burch shakes us awake with each line. Every day and every heartbeat is full of beauty and meaning here, and we are lucky enough to see the seasons through Burch’s thoughtful and rapturous attention.
—Traci Brimhall, Kansas Poet Laureate
Kim Ports Parsons, The Mayapple Forest
***The Mayapple Forest has been named second finalist for the 2023 Poetry Society of Virginia's North American Book Award.
“Shelve your losses. Taste spoonfuls in remembrance," exhorts Kim Ports Parsons in this moving and lyrical first collection, The Mayapple Forest. A profound generosity of spirit guides these poems, as the poet navigates a landscape of both loss and abundance. The old homestead, the mother's presence, the lost child and lost self are set against an enduring natural plenty: of gardens, the gathering of food, and the sweetness of cooking with family. Sometimes shadows are raised, sometimes pain suggested—the mayapple's dangerous, delicious lure—but always, the work transcends to a deepening mindfulness, and an authentic acceptance of the world as it actually is. May we all learn from these beautifully compassionate and discerning poems.
Robert Fillman, House Bird
The poems in House Bird drill deep beneath the surface of domestic life, finding the essential truth in the tension between what gets said and what goes unsaid, exploring the consequences of speaking and the consequences of remaining silent. Fillman reveals how vulnerable we are, even in our own bedrooms, basements, driveways. Like in the Hopper and Wyeth paintings that inspire some of his poems, he finds the mood between desire and loneliness, that feeling so profound and universal that we can only bow our heads in recognition. A remarkable debut by a promising young poet.
Theresa Burns, Design
These poems touch, caress, ponder, and probe myriad facets of the world’s body, that tangible, earthy presence that sustains and enlivens us. A daughter in her fashion of all-encompassing Walt, Theresa Burns revels in the whole of the tuneful yet muddy yet encouraging yet saddening drama, the great participial thrust Walt was so keen on—living. Carefully wrought, each poem has that this-is-a-leaf-from-the-earth feel, a fullness of feeling that is explicit and—to use one of the poet’s words— evergreen.
Eric Nelson, Horse Not Zebra
***Horse Not Zebra was named an Honorable Mention for the 2023 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize in Poetry
***Horse Not Zebra was named one of the six winners of the 2023 da Vinci Eye Award for cover design.
These wonderful poems capture perfectly, and distinctively, a sensibility very much of our time: witty, yearning, a little battered. They’re rich with insights both tough-minded and humane. Eric Nelson’s quiet narratives, his zinger images, his direct and yet surprising lingo—these will charm you, and they’ll feed your mind and soul. I’ve followed his work for decades and (this is saying a lot) I say, Horse Not Zebra is his best book yet. —Jeanne Larsen
Kirsten Shu-ying Chen, light waves
***light waves was named a finalist for the 2023 da Vinci Eye Award for cover design.
Kirsten Shu-ying Chen's searing debut collection offers a poignant exploration of the liminal space between what is holy and what is prosaic. Formalistically rich and varied, these poems do not blink in the face of grief, but shelter there. Chen "curse[s] the wide width of the wound" and creates a world in which her poems link arms to enter the blistering present. A demonstration of the daily rituals of love, these elegies swell with humanity as death draws near. "The body knows. / The night knows and the body listens." Light waves simultaneously reminds us of what we already know and what we too often forget: there just isn't enough time, and yet, an abundance of joy is everywhere, for each of us. --Omotara James, Song of My Softening
Journals That Publish Reviews
Here’s the link to our list of journals, print and online, that publish poetry book reviews.
Atticus Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Independent Review of Books, American Poetry Journal, Broadkill Review, Broad Street Review, Escape into Life, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Mom Egg Review, Sabotage, Wordgathering, Emrys Journal, The Lit Pub, North of Oxford, Pedestal Magazine, Bone Bouquet, New Letters, Pleiades, Compulsive Reader, The Collagist, Connotation Press, Rhino Poetry, Whale Road Review, The Adirondack Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, Cider Press Review, The Literary Review, Literary Matters, Empty Mirror, The Rupture, Neon Literary Magazine, The Hopper, Under a Warm Green Linden, The Rupture, Broad Street Review, Pedestal, Calyx, Philadelphia Stories, Page & Spine, The Poet (UK), Michigan Quarterly Review, The Minnesota Review, Cafe Review, Sugar House Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Harbor Review, and World-Architects.