Denise Low reviews new poetry by Ted Kooser, Lawrence Matsuda, Gwen Nell Westerman, and Jane Hoogestraat for the Kansas City Star. The review begins:
"A horse-drawn carriage represents mid-Plains history to Ted Kooser, former U.S. poet laureate from Nebraska. Other poets also have delved into personal heritage deep between the bookends of the coasts. Lawrence Matsuda writes about Japanese internment camps of World War II, with related images by Lawrence artist Roger Shimomura. Gwen Nell Westerman remembers her grandmother’s Dakota Sioux teachings, while the Low German dialect is what poet Jane Hoogestraat retrieves from her Great Plains immigrant past. All these poets link their own experience to larger concerns of historic narratives. They love and mourn, like other poets, but they also document and humanize the past. . . ."
Splitting an Order by Ted Kooser (109 pages; Copper Canyon Press; $23.00)
Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner: Poetry and Artwork Inspired by Japanese American Experiences by Lawrence Matsuda, with artwork by Roger Shimomura (106 pages; CreateSpace; $21)
Follow the Blackbirds: Poems by Gwen Nell Westerman (72 pages, Michigan State University Press, $16.95);
Border States by Jane Hoogestraat, winner of the John Ciardi prize (74 pages, BkMk Press, $13.95)