NCLR Poetry: Franklin, Smith-Soto & Nieman
Where We Lay Down by Jeffrey Franklin
Where We Lay Down is a significant achievement. These are multi-layered, thick, substantial poems that confront tough subjects: transformation, inheritance, deterioration, and our debt to the animal. As the Buddha said, “Decay is inherent in all compounded things,” and, as these poems show, all things are compounded. Written in a startling array of forms, from blank verse to free verse, sestina to pantoum, they are full of knowledge, and they always adapt the form to the language, rather than the other way around, changing the reader’s notion of poetic form in the process.
—James Najarian, author of The Goat Songs
The Leopard Lady by Valerie Nieman
"The Leopard Lady is the product of a powerful writer who knows what she wants and sets the Lady out to find it. Nieman, with vivid language, writes what Leopard Lady believes -- including Bible teachings, dramatized and characterized through a fictional mind that suddenly becomes wholly real to us. This is about the stages of life for one whose perseverance is to seek pieces of the puzzle and even a piece of love."
-- Grace Cavalieri in the Washington Independent Review of Books