Maker of Shadows
Maker of Shadows finds regions on the map-Mumbia, Cape Cod, the Midwest, the Middle East-and in the mind where violence alternates with laughter, and despair gives way to desire. Tropical islands soon to be submerged plead for tourists, and Sun Belt cities beckon those who would deny death. Yet these poems find humor and solace in daily life, from irreverent looks at banks, dogs, and gods, to glimpses into the inner lives of a rat exterminator and a father bathing his child.
One of the very best collections ever to grace the Texas Review Press's series. The poems are wonderfully fresh and closely packed, with a lot of superior music going on. A strong and varied collection.---X. J. Kennedy
Toward the matter of truthfulness in the ways we live and against the glittering appeal of lies that promise us ease. Maker of Shadows takes the difficult road. Coben's lines are deft and elegant, approaching revelation, showing us the way to sober beuties.---Afaa Michael Weaver
Joshua Coben is a lyric poet of the first order, which means he understands that there are moments when form must be sacrificed to satify the demands of language...Whether writing in syllabic, accentual/syllabic, accentual or in a jazzy modulated free verse, his poems are easy on the ear....His subject is no less than the internal and external landscapes of post-modernity, and he is more than up to the task both as a poet and as a trustworthy chronicler of the random dash through space we call our history.---Bruce Weigl
These are strong, imaginative poems not afraid to take risks, unusual in the subjects they use to approach what is really on their minds. It's a great satifaction to encounter poems that aim at the communication of the human experiences they spring from, and make no effort to distort those experiences into stylish obscurity, or banish the feelings they evoke. Many of these poems remain in the memory after a single reading. An unqualified pleaure.---Rhina Espaillal.
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