Joe Wilkins

"Joe Wilkins has a big, true, highway-running American voice. When you see a new book of his, you should celebrate. Just buy it, put down the window, and let the music blow back your hair. It's nothing but alive." – Luis Alberto Urrea

Review in Main Street Rag

I was very pleased to finally get a hold of Carrie Shipers’ lovely review of Killing the Murnion Dogs in volume 17 of Main Street Rag. It’s not available online, but here are a few lines:

 

Violence–even sometimes brutality–may be an integral part of the world Wilkins creates, but there is room for tenderness, too. In “A Prayer,” an expansive, Whitman-esque poem that closes the collection, the poet turns his unflinching eye on the people who populate his poems, men who “water the sodden garden of themselves / with liquor” and women “nailing / themselves to the rough-cut boards of their husbands.” While these portraits are not necessarily flattering, there is an undertone of admiration in every line: he celebrates these people because of what they’re willing to endure in the hostile Western environment, and the poem is all the more moving because he seemingly counts himself among the people he describes. “A Prayer,” like the other poems in Killing the Murnion Dogs, is ultimately a kind of love poem, albeit a complex and sometimes disturbing one.

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One comment on “Review in Main Street Rag

  1. James Donaldson
    August 18, 2012

    It is the double negativity of Wilkins’ work that makes one tremble in the faces of our own cheap violence

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2012 by in News and tagged , , , .

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