Another Review

Another fine review for Killing the Murnion Dogs in the venerable Pleiades Review of Books! Near the end of the review, essayist and poet Nick Ripatrazone writes:

“Spiritual” and “A Prayer” tread new ground in the book’s final pages, and these lines feel both appropriate to the book as a whole and the particular, engaging aesthetic cultivated throughout: “But even in this joy I know enough / of pain and shame to say that’s all wrong: No one / deserves this world.”

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.

HDJ #13 Reviewed at Newpages.com

High Desert Journal #13 deservedly earns a kind review from John Palen this month at Newpages, and my story “Enough of Me” gets a mention:

“Raw delicacy” also describes Joe Wilkins’s intensely realized short story about a homeless woman in Montana who decides she’ll move beyond the self she had become. “Enough of Me” won High Desert Journal’s Obsidian Prize in Fiction, judged by Gretel Ehrlich.