Often, in contemporary literature, grief becomes clichéd; O’Rourke, however, avoids sappiness or melodrama. Instead, her poetry probes at the actualization of grief, revealing a startling emotional depth.
When reading Space, in Chains, I would command my sister, my mother, my friends: “listen to this poem.” I recited Kasischke’s poetry out loud at the dinner table; I scanned her words as subways hurtled beneath boroughs; I listened to her phrases reverberate in my head.
Rosanna Warren’s tautly elegant poetry in her collection Ghost in a Red Hat captivates me. Warren does not aim for obscure language and obstructed meaning; she carefully and clearly reveals her intent in writing her poems.