Saturday, March 10, 2018



Silence by Julie Unruh
(Global Green Publishing, Lawrence. Ks, 2017)

I first heard Julie reading from this manuscript in the basement of a dive bar in downtown Lawrence, Kansas at an open mic event.  She read low and fast it seemed or I am not hearing as well as I should.  Which made it difficult to follow and yet I heard enough to create interest.  A few weeks later as I was leaving the library, someone called my name.  It was Julie and she ran up to hand me a copy of her new chapbook, Silence.  A gift, indeed.  I do love the community of public reading but the true indulge comes having the book in hand and the voice in memory.  To the title..Silence..much attention on that word these days so, yes, I do look forward to finding how and when the title comes into the text itself….if, already, I haven’t or shouldn’t read too much into anything.   Is it about ‘breaking silence’ or  ‘not silence’ or what writing of or in or on silence.  To be discovered.
Here is an example:

Are fed to me
Cannot grab them
They are but vapors
Among my brain

Here is another example:


Portrait of the grieving
women shrouded
by cloaks, bending
with their hands, covering
their faces, supporting
their crying bodies.
All you can see
is blackness
staring back at you.

Straightforward.  Definite.  Unadorned.  Each  poem is printed with facing photographs by either Unruh or a friend.  The words ‘coma’ and ‘the disability’ appear in the texts.   The words ‘love’,’ God’ and ‘wilderness’ are found also.   All of which adds up to a well put together first chapbook.  Mazel tov.


Jim McCrary lives in Lawrence, Kansas. His most recent publication is A Year Book from Shirt Pocket Press which is a memoir in a series of one line recollections for the 75 years of his life.