Here’s a kind and thoughtful review of Forever Will End On Thursday from Peter Stephens. As I said about the last review of the collection: “it’s wonderful, it feels tender and respectful – and nourishing – when someone pauses in their life to make a moment of stillness and focus centered on your poems, gathers their thoughts on the poems, and writes them down.”

Beyond that, there are two things I especially like about Peter’s review. One is that he makes connections, as they present themselves to his mind, between my work and others’ work. It’s not really important for the purpose of marking this feeling to whom, or how, these connections are made. Just the fact of connections is very good. It’s a nice and new (for me) feeling to be ‘situated’ like that – as part of a tapestry, a stream, a wholeness, a poemy aural bigness.

Which sort of contradicts the second thing I especially like about Peter’s review, which is a lonelier and more separate thing, but – I don’t know – just as whole, too. Which is where he says:

There’s a longing to connect inherent in the act of creation, but it can’t come on the cheap. Poetry that fails to take risks or that papers over the inherently difficult relationship between author and reader is rarely worth reading. I don’t expect those issues to underlie a newspaper article, but I love it when I feel it in poetry. I want to feel in poetry a kind of existential tug, a sense that the writer is on her own, the poem is on its own, and I’m on my own, too. Only then can the three of us work to build real bridges.

Here is a a Peter poem at Whale Sound and there is also where Dave Bonta made it into a video poem. You can also hear Peter reading someone else’s poem in this Whale Sound group reading.

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

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