Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Denise Low reviews Jo McDougall's Collected Poems for the KC Star

The Kansas City Star generously supports area writers. This week they published my review of Jo McDougall's new collected poems, which begins:
""Jo McDougall has inspired readers with her work for more than 30 years. Her collected poems, In the Home of the Famous Dead, presents all her books, from 1983 through 2010. McDougall, a 20-year resident of the Kansas City area, now resides in Arkansas. Both places recur in the writings. Each poem is an essential lesson about how to find joy in this beautiful but blemished existence.
"McDougall teaches readers how to view landscapes. She presents stark panoramas, then adds a human dimension. In “Driving Alone,” the briefly sketched setting evokes enormity: “Sunset takes the light, the sound.” The title sets up the drama of loneliness as the poem develops a story: “She reaches for the radio, / already on.” This woman is adrift in a car. The solitary journey is familiar, a shared metaphor for life itself, and also a very real emotion. . . ." 
Purchase online or through the University of Arkansas Press:
In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems, by Jo McDougall (250 pages; University of Arkansas Press; $24.95, $49.95 cloth)