Catching up with reviews of The Weather in Normal in TLS and Poetry Wales
Part of the interest in reading reviews is seeing how others measure the choices I made; at times it feels the reviewer has read the book at a rush, and at others, the reviewer's degree of engagement awes me. One choice I worried over in The Weather in Normal was the use of the three sections to show an increasing sense of loss over the course of the collection, from the deaths of my parents and the role of weather particularly in my father's death, to the sale of the family home and loss of my last physical tether, to the effects of climate change on Illinois. Thus I was relieved a little in this respect when I read Camille Ralphs' review in the TLS, remarking, "Her latest collection, The Weather in Normal, is ecopoetry humanized by its roots in a more traditional literature of bereavement, and
hits harder as a result." Jazmine Linklater's review in Poetry Wales similarly notes the elegiac line through all three sections and is appreciative of the use of space in the open field and left and right-justified two-columned long poem, "Afterlife." I am, as I read these reviews, gauging what does and doesn't seem to be working, which is not to say that I won't try the latter again, anew. It all goes into the hopper, feeding into my composition and revision process, hopefully for the better.