The New Book Review

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Title: Imperfect Echoes
Subtitle: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Smal
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
Artwork by Richard Conway Jackson
9781515232490, $9.95, 148pp,

Reviewed by Jim Cox, editor-in-chief of Midwest Book Review for the poetry shelf of his Small Press Bookwatch

Synopsis: "Imperfect Echoes: l" is a work that was inspired by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz's poem "Incantation" that lauds the power of human reason over the reoccurring and seemingly insane political realities. In "Imperfect Echoes", author Carolyn Howard-Johnson holds out hope but is not persuaded by trends that seem worse now than they were in Milosz's time. A student of Suzanne Lummis, UCLA poetry instructor and the Fresno School of Poetry fronted by US poet laureate Philip Levine, Carolyn touches on the isms of the world--racism, ageism, even what might be termed "wallism" but was once referred to as xenophobia. In her poem "Crying Walls," she sounds a low warning reminiscent of Robert Frost: "Chains linked. Wire barbed,/ Krylon smeared. Feeble,/ useless, unholy billboards,/ anything but mending walls."

Critique: Carolyn Howard-Johnson is articulate, gifted, insightful, iconoclastic, and a truly impressive literary talent. "Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read that is very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Poetry collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Imperfect Echoes" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

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