Thursday, August 23, 2018


Galatea Resurrects is accepting engagements with poetry projects such as reviews, book introductions (or forewords prefaces or afterwords) not currently online, coverage of poetry events, and other engagements in any form (e.g. letters, poems, art, etc. in response to poetry).

You can review any poetry project. Book and chapbook review copies are available HERE. Reviews are not limited to recent releases as we believe Poetry is eternal. You can even review some beloved book that's long stayed on one of your bookshelves!

Email for queries and sending reviews: galateaten at gmail dot com

Eileen Tabios
Editor, Galatea Resurrects


Click on title-links to be directed to the review or article

PRE- by Barbara Tomash
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (8/22)

OF SOME SKY by Joseph Harrington
Reviewed by João Paulo Guimarães (8/21)

TRAVELING CLUSTER: poems in Italy by David Giannini
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (8/20)

thousands by Lightsey Darst
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (8/19)

The Infinite Doctrine of Water by Michael T. Young
Reviewed by Djelloul Marbrook (8/18)

THE BOOK OF MARK by Amanda Earl
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (8/17)

Les Echiquiers Effrontes by Mark Young
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (8/16)

EVIDENCE OF FETUS DIVERSITY edited by Eileen R. Tabios
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (8/12)

Block by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (8/11)

THINK TANK by Julie Carr
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (7/23)

Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries edited by Martha Collins & Kevin Prufer and PRESENCE OF LIFE by Eric Hoffman
Engaged by Eileen Tabios(7/22)


Where Night and Day Become One: The French Poems by Steve Dalachinsky

Reviewed by Janet Hamill (7/20)

IF THEY HADN'T WORN WHITE HOODS,... by John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (7/19)

Poetry Comes Out of My Mouth: Selected Poems by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, Translated by Arturo Mantecón
Reviewed by John M. Bennett (7/18)


Spokes of an Uneven Wheel by Colin Dodd
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/16)

INVISIBLE MARCHES by Tamas Panitz; Hexateuch by Joel Newberger; and BRONZE by Billie Chernicoff
Engaged by Robert Kelly (7/15)

Welcome Distractions: Accessible Poems for Time-Strapped Humans by Carol Wierzbicki
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (7/14)

A Map and One Year by Karen L. George

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/13)

The Gnat's Window by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (7/12)

Roseate, Points of Gold by Laynie Browne
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (6/22)

Dearest Annie, You Wanted a Report on Berkson's Class: Letters from Frances LeFevre to Anne Waldman edited by Lisa Birman

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/21)

FEATURED ESSAY: "Visual Writing, Derrida and the Unreadable Being of the Dead Sea Scrolls" by Tom Hibbard 


Comprehending Mortality by John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/19)

Real Fire by Janet Hamill, with photographs by Richard Baron
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (6/18)

"Polymer Codex" by Mark Young

Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/17)

WORDS ON EDGE by Michael Leong

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/16)

Gathering Sparks by Paul Pines

Engaged by Michael Heller (6/15)

Orange by Christine Herzer

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/14)

INTERVIEW: Norman Fischer interviews Denise Newman 

Perverse, All Monstrous by Code-Rose Clevidence
Reviewed by Judy Roitman (6/12)


Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/11)

ELEGY FOR MY BEAT GENERATION by Neeli Cherkovski and AMOR FATI by Jack Mueller

Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (6/10)

CLOSE APART by Robert Cowan

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/9)

The World of Burning by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/8)

FEATURED ESSAY: "Silence" by Raymond de Borja



Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/6)

Olvidos by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/5)

"Flash Book Reviews" of The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu, Trans. by Jamal J. Elias; Sugar-Paper Blue by Ruth Fainlight; Owen Sheers by Skirrid Hill; Regarding Wave by Gary Snyder; The Nerve by Glyn Maxwell; The Painted Bed by Donald Hall; The Standing Wave by Gabriel Spera; O Harvest Poems 1910-1960 by Carl Sandburg; and POEMS: A Selection by Leonie Adams
Reviewed by Aloysiusi Polintan  (6/4)

FEATURED ESSAY: Martha King on Frank O'Hara

Is That the Sound of a Piano Coming From Several Houses Down? by Noah Eli Gordon
Reviewed by rob mclennan (5/6)

COMPENDIUM: a collection of thoughts on prosody by Donald Justice, edited by David Koehn and Alan Soldofsky
Reviewed by Patrick James Dunagan (5/5)

HOY / TODAY by Juan Gelman, Translated by Lisa Rose Bradford
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/4)

The Sweating Lake by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (5/3)

INVISIBLE FISH by Susan F. Glassmeyer
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/2)

Publications by Jim Leftwich, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Joseph Carries, McKenzie Wark and John Milton
Engaged by Scott MacLeod (5/1)

succubus in my pocket by kari edwards
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/30)

Objects from a Borrowed Confession by Julie Carr
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (4/23)

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/22)

"The Curse of Akkad"
Engaged by Aileen Cassinetto and C. Sophia Ibardaloza (4/21)

Olas Cursis by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (4/20)

women: poetry: migration [an anthology], Editor Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
Reviewed by Judy Roitman (4/19)

Masterplan by Eric Greinke and Alison Stone
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/18)

UNMARK by Montreux Rotholtz
Reviewed by Brian Burmeister (4/17)

Swedish Poetry Nowadays: An Anthology of 6 Poets in the 21st Century, Editor Kristian Carlsson
Reviewed by William Allegrezza (4/16)

Long Day, Counting Tomorrow by Jim Feast
Engaged by Steve Dalachinsky (4/15)

Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties by Lev Rubinstein, Trans. by Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky; It's No Good: Poems / Essays / Actions by Kirill Medvedev, Trans. by Keith Gessen with Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill and Bela Shayevich; and I Live I See: Selected Poems by Vsevolod Nekrasov, Trans. by Ainsley Morse and Bela Shayevich
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (4/14)


The Spirit of the Staircase, poems by Tiana Nobile & paintings by Brigid Conroy
Engaged by Cristina Querrer (4/12)

Dark Pastures: Selected Songs and Poems by John Lunar Richey, WORKS by Danny Shot, and Hope Cries for Justice by Patricia Nicholson and William Parker
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (4/11)

FEATURE: "Lesser Lights: More Adventures From A Hamptons Apprenticeship" 
By Sandy McIntosh (4/10)

Mirrors Mascaras by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (4/9)

Publications by Clark Coolidge, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennet, Michel Roly, Leslie Scalapino, Keith Shein, Scott MacLeod, Lyn Hejinian, Brandon Brown, and Ron Silliman
Engaged by Scott MacLeod (4/8)

You Envelop Me by Laynie Browne
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (3/22)

Poems and Fragments by Elise Cowen, edited by Tony Trigilio
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (3/21)

Pantoums by Dennis Daly
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/20)

MEAT by Sophie Seita, Sublunar by Tom Jenks, and In Accident & Emergence by Rosa van Hensbergen
Reviewed (viz "revicules") by Colin Lee Marshall (3/19)

Old Ballerina Club by Sharon Olinka
Reviewed by Sheila Black (3/18)

Like a Fat Gold Watch: Meditations on Sylvia Plath and Living, edited by Christine Hamm
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/17)

Three Ariel Poems by Sylvia Plath
Engaged by Tasha Cotter (3/16)

Featured Essay: "Brief Notes on Thomas McEvilley"
By Peter Valente (3/15)

Phaneagrams by Jake Berry
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (3/15)

The Body Ghost by Joseph Lease
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/14)

The Critic Writes Poems: Abigail Licad

SELECT POEMS by John M Bennett
Engaged by Ivan Argüelles (3/12)

Answer To An Inquiry by Robert Walser
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (3/11)

Silence by Julie Unruh
Reviewed by Jim McCrary (3/10)

Featured Essay: "Hay(na)ku/Sci(na)ku--Six-Word Poetry"
By Lauren McBride (3/9)

Sound Rituals by Jim Leftwich and Billy Bob Beamer
Engaged by John M. Bennett (3/8)

Debths by Susan Howe
Engaged by Jim McCrary (3/7)

Publications by Cole Swensen, Jean Day, P. Inman, Scott MacLeod, Daniel Davidson and Rae Armentrout
Engaged by Scott MacLeod (3/6)

Editor's Recommendations From Review Copy List
By Eileen Tabios (3/5)

Featured Poet: Sheila E. Murphy

The Palace of Flowers by Gerry Grubbs
Reviewed by Joseph P. Tomain (2/19)

The Small Door of Your Death by Sheryl St. Germain
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (2/18)

Featured Essay: "Karl Kempton and 'The Enigma of the Other': The Originary Structures of Truth and Discovery of Visual Writing"
By Tom Hibbard (2/17)

Stubborn by Sheri Reda
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (2/16)

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (2/15)

some more strange meteorites by Mark Young
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (2/14)

Guitar Tech by Mark Sonnenfeld
Reviewed by Jim Leftwich (2/14)

ANNE WITH AN E & ME by Wesley St. Jo
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (2/13)

Girl Gang by Juliet Cook

Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (2/12)

ORPHIC CANTOS by Ivan Argüelles
Engaged by John M. Bennett (2/11)

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (2/10)

Phaneagrams by Jake Berry
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (2/9)

The Critic Writes Poems: Paul Pines

Featured Essay: "The Nearness of Asemic Writing" 
By Jim Leftwich (2/8)

MARAWI by Albert E. Alejo and Eileen R. Tabios with translations by Aileen Cassinetto
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (2/7)

farnessity, wordslabs by Randee Silv
Reviewed by Jim Leftwich (2/6)

Interview: William Burroughs
Engaged by jim mccrary (2/5)

Tres tressstrisss trieesss tril trilssss: Transmutations of Cesar Vallejo by Jim Leftwich
Engaged by John M. Bennett (2/4)

From Here by Zoe Skoulding, with illustrations by Simonetta Moro
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (2/3)

Publications by Scott MacLeod, Michael Palmer, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Ann Lauterbach, Daniel Davidson and Laura Moriarty

Engaged by Scott MacLeod (2/2)

The Critic Writes Poems: Jim McCrary

Ten Poems by Luis H. Francia
A Rendition of "Lyric 17" in RIGODONa film by Sari Lluch Dalena and Keith Sicat starring Joel Torre, Chin-Chin Gutierrez, and Art Acuna
"Dream" by Marton Koppany
"The Buzzard" and "The Giant in the Dirty Coat" by Jesse Glass
Tattoo by John Bloomberg-Rissman
Two Artworks by Cecilia Ibardaloza
Three Collages by Rupert Loydell
"[There, demons, demagogue]" by Nick Carbó
"The Secret Life of an Angel" by Eileen R. Tabios
Writing-Prompt responses by Rupert Loydell's students at Falmouth University

Transnational BattleField by Heriberto Yépez and Miximum Ca’ Canny: The Sabotage Manuals by Ida Börjel, Translated by Jennifer Hayashida
Reviewed by T.C. Marshall (1/22)

like a solid to a shadow by Janice Lobo Sapigao
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/21)

A Change of Climate edited by Sam Illingworth and Dan Simpson
Engaged by Helen Mort (1/20)

Albedo by Kathleen Jesme
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (1/19)

The End of Something by Kate Greenstreet
Reviewed by Judith Roitman (1/18)

upROUTE: The Language of Plates and NOTES ON THE SIGN OF POETRY: ADDENDUM & PRINTS, both by Sacha Archer
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/17)

LOSSES OF LIFE by Eric Hoffman
Reviewed by Paul Pines (1/16)

A WIFE IS A HOPE CHEST by Christine Brandel
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/15)

Publications by Scott MacLeod, Philip Whalen, Jim Leftwich, Olive Blackburn, Lyn Hejinian, Brandon Brown, and Anonymous
Engaged by Scott MacLeod (1/14)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018



PRE-  by Barbara Tomash
(Black Radish Books, 2018)

Barbara Tomash, who is the author of three previous volumes of poetry, lives in Berkeley, California and teaches in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.

In this, her latest book, Tomash celebrates the prefix. Pre- is a segment that is not in itself a word. In grammar, it is a prefix which is defined as an affix that is placed at the beginning of a word in order to adjust or qualify its meaning. In this collection, the prefixes act as jumping-off points; they launch us into an assemblage of definitions which aim to transform the way in which we view language.

The opening quotation by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, who made contributions in the fields of poetics and the philosophy of science, is particularly pertinent to this collection where prefixes, when they are divorced from the stems of words and merely stand alone, give us the freedom to imagine them as having a life – or at least, a half-life – of their own.

In this strikingly original collection, the title of each poem takes the form of a prefix and is therefore, by definition, unfinished. All of the titles are placed in square brackets and within those brackets there is a hyphen. This is important because it serves to signify for some kind of lead-in or linkage. Its presence gives us a space in which to begin to exercise our imagination. Some prefixes are given multiple entries, for example, [trans-] and [be-] each make five separate appearances and [non-], [twi-] and [epi-] each make three.

Throughout the book, the poems are interspersed with 11 illustrations which comprise photocopied fragments from an illustrated dictionary. Sometimes these illustrations relate specifically to the text that is set out on the opposite page and sometimes they do not. The inspiration behind this exploration of prefixes is to be found in the “acknowledgements” section where the author thanks her parents for long ago giving her a copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition. All the language in PRE- is found in that dictionary.

The texts that follow on from the prefixes are presented as definitions or partial definitions of specific words that begin with the letters contained in the title.  In other words, Tomash reverses our normal practice of consulting a dictionary to find out what a particular word means by giving us the meaning first and leaving us to consult our imagination in order to discover the word that fits that definition. For example, for the title [dia-], the text runs “worn as a crown” (to which we answer “diadem”); “to recognize the nature of things by outlining its parts” (to which we answer “diagram”); “as of a mark added to a letter” (to which we answer “diacritic), etc.

Sometimes it is fun to discover the first word that comes into our heads if we just focus on the title. For example, for [amb-] my first thought was “ambivalent” and then “ambidextrous”; and for [acro-] my first word was “acrobat”.  This is just one of the ways in which Tomash draws the reader into her texts and actively encourages participation.

Another way in which she achieves this degree of participation is in the way she chooses to encourage us to use our imagination with regard to discovering the possibility of a linear story line out of the order of the definitions as they appear in the text. Here, she invites the reader to latch on to the thought processes that lead from one phrase or definition to another. Sometimes the guessing game is relatively straightforward:


as a trailing vine with red berries : initiation : anesthesia and semi-consciousness : as a constellation : as a world  lighted by more strands being twisted : round and round in the water : in which boys rotate lightly idly flutter the eyelids : mingle by interlacing : also : twice-told : sunlight and its airglow [rare] : the ends of used rope symbolizing rebirth

Here, everything has to do with roundness, with the idea of “coming round,” with cyclicality.

A more complex story-line is weaved in the next text:


as a seedling
when light shines through it
the process of thought rather than the objects of sense experience
to pierce with something pointed
the accidents of bread and wine
repressed impulses
crossing from side to side
as a convict sentenced to transportation
the speed of sound in air

Here, one interpretation might be that of growth (“the force that through the green fuse drives the flower / drives my green age – Dylan Thomas) + sustenance for life’s journey + the struggle of good and evil + a spiritual home.  If this is not too fanciful, it at least works for me.

At other times a set of images in the text may call to mind a dominant word or set of words that would seem to have some part to play in most of the definitions:


who plays the solo passages
to direct the course of the vessel

as a sac opening outward in parts
for voices

the rooms, having perceptible

as instruments mourn

To me, this calls to mind concertos, concertinas, contraltos and concert halls.  Whether or not this is Tomash’s intention is not clear but it is the way in which I have chosen to engage in her work.


to begin (a tone) : having the same curvature in all directions : to shorten (a word) : to overlap the chamfered egdes of a neighbouring vibrating body : in pity or compassion : meaning each whorl of leaves : to receive together with large fragrant clusters : white, pink, red, purplish or bluish flowers : in this dictionary : a fold of stratified rock.

Again, this is a personal interpretation – but the word that springs to mind for me is “bell” – the sound of a church bell, the curve of a bell, the vibration of a sounding bell, sound clusters, the bells of foxgloves, harebells, etc.  There is no right or wrong answer – there are no answers given at the back of the book – this is purely an exercise for each reader to undertake in his or her imagination and it is fun to do.  It says something about the logicality of language, its building blocks, the way it is structured and how one word relates to another.

The texts are written in a variety of styles and the way in which they are presented on the page is clearly of importance to Tomash. Some are presented as poems, some as prose poems, some are justified on both the left and right hand sides of the margins, some have breathing spaces between each word, sometimes the different definitions are separated by colons or large circles, and some are divided by forward slashes. There is as much variety in this presentation as there is in the definitions themselves.

The length of each text varies as well. None are longer than a page but the shortest is a mere two words that in themselves suggest a blank sheet by signposting the reader to another word:


see solitude

An appropriate presentation for a word like “isolation”.

The cover artwork by Ekaterina Panikanova, a Russian surreal artist who is known for using books as a canvas in her artwork, invites us to discover ourselves by reading behind the lines of our subconscious. It is precisely what Tomash sets out to do with her texts. She invites us in to explore our own imaginings.

The collection will appeal to readers who enjoy doing crosswords, who play Scrabble, enjoy words, love dictionaries and anything to do with lexicography. It will also appeal to poets.


Neil Leadbeater is an author, essayist, poet and critic living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His short stories, articles and poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals both at home and abroad. His books include Librettos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, 2011); The Worcester Fragments (Original Plus, 2013); The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives (Poetry Space, 2014) and Finding the River Horse (Littoral Press, 2017).