Radio Heart; or How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press 2015) ~ Margaret Rhee

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“[T]here is no sweeter lullaby than the hum of your servomotor.” And with that exquisite line—one of myriads in a wondrous chapbook of poems—Margaret Rhee encapsulates and humanizes our relationship with technology. Part science fiction, all love poems, Radio Heart; or How Robots Fall Out of Love adeptly illustrates and examines our millennial desires, in turn, our deep-seated and engineered loneliness. The collection is an acrobatic, careful amalgam of lyricism and algorithms, intelligence and kitsch, which manages scientific seriousness while winking, without sacrificing raw emotions (see: robot death scene). What a fun, sexy read, sprinkled with double entendre, yet layered with genuine feelings and cerebral warmth! It takes a poet with a sharp emanating mind and a huge blaring heart to assemble such poems for the next decades now.

—Joseph O. Legaspi

Margaret Rhee’s playful and poignant collection of robot poems follows the “morse code of her human heart” right into the soul of the machine. Each poem explores mysteries of love and logic as she pursues her thirst to understand the most human of our machines.

—Ken Goldberg

A former colleague of mine always wrote “NO LOVE POEMS” on her syllabi. She hadn’t read Margaret Rhee’s tender book, or lines like “there is no sweeter lullaby than the hum of your servomotor.” If poetry has been dulled by the abuses of repetition and cliché, Rhee knows how to turn a worn moment into a fresh one: “you fall deeply into the small of moonlight. / fall deeply into circuits and glow”; “Your glow upon my face. My name is / Engraved into your board.” A kinetic game of “find and replace” (find “heart,” replace with “servomotor”), Rhee’s love poems do not alter much where they alteration find, but she shifts just enough to put spring back in the step of the love poem.

—Susan M. Schultz

Near the start of this amazing progression of Eros, “plentiful oil,” cranked up volume, and dreams, Margaret Rhee lays out the terms of endearment: “there is no love manual for robots.” Take note, reader, that the ambiguity—like the famous hair of the werewolf at Trader Vic’s—is “perfect.” But Radio Heart’s few pages are chock full of unexpected signals—the arc here goes way beyond style and hip quips about the future or tossed-off love, virtual love. Radio Heart—algorithms and all—is nothing less than an extremely bold foray into the limits of unpredictable and quite imperfect hearts; in Radio Heart love is conditional and tense and astoundingly human.

—C.S. Giscombe

Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love

Finishing Line Press,  Apr 2015
Publisher Website: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_reviews_info.php?products_id=2383&reviews_id=1059
Author Website: http://www.nectarinedreams.com/


About the Author

Margaret Rhee is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015). She co-edited Glitter Tongue: queer and trans love poems and Mixed Blood, a literary journal on race and innovative poetics edited by CS Giscombe. She is a Kundiman Fellow and the Kathy Acker Fellow at Les Figues Press. In 2014, she received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies. Currently, she teaches at UCLA and is a visiting assistant professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon.

 

Reviews

Traveling (Hyacinth Girl Press 2015) ~ M. Mack

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My shirt removed. A naked sculpture. I am encased in surgical mesh, my armature showing, stripped down to this. I am asking you to puzzle over me.

— from Traveling

Traveling

Hyacinth Girl Press,  2015
Publisher Website: http://hyacinthgirlpress.com/yearfive/traveling.html
Author Website: http://mxmack.com/


About the Author

M. Mack is a genderqueer poet, editor, and fiber artist in Virginia. Mack is also the author of Theater of Parts (Sundress Publications, 2016) and the chapbook Imaginary Kansas (dancing girl press, 2015). Ze holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and is former managing editor of So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art. Hir work has appeared recently in Fence, cream city review, Hot Metal Bridge, and The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). Mack is a founding co-editor of Gazing Grain Press and an assistant editor for Cider Press Review.

 

Reviews

Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever (Dancing Girl Press 2015) ~ Saara Myrene Raappana

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“To get a hundred million parts, you must ransom one whole.” Blackbird says, “Saara Myrene Raappana’s poetry reaches deep into the inherent void of our mortality with a strength capable of giving voice to the dead, identifying an utterly human mark on the inanimate world.” In the world of Raappana’s Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever, the surest way to save yourself—whether you’re a goddess e-mailing her estranged mother, a waitress watching a hostage situation unfold, or a tourist being offered blood to drink—is to be brave enough to break.

Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever

Dancing Girl Press, Nov 2015
Publisher Website: http://dulcetshop.myshopify.com/products/milk-tooth-levee-fever-saara-myrene-raappana
Author Website: http://www.saaramyrene.com/


About the Author

Saara Myrene Raappana is the author of the chapbook Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in such publications as 32 Poems, Blackbird, Harvard Review Online, Subtropics, The Gettysburg Review, and Verse Daily. She’s an editor for Cellpoems, a poetry journal distributed via text message that received an Innovations in Reading Award from the National Book Foundation. Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern China and currently lives in windy southwestern Minnesota with her husband. She likes animals, kropsua, ice fishing, and puns. 

To Gain the Day (Red Bird Chapbooks 2015) ~ Anthony Frame

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Anthony’s collection of poems deals with issues and aspects of life that we can all find familiar. Don’t we all have parts of our lives that have nothing to do with each other and everything to do with who we are? Anthony, poet, ex-educator, and “pest control technician” explores the way we chose to live, how we function, manage, provide and still remain true to ourselves and those we care about. Thoughtful, honest, enduring and endearing, Anthony’s poems deal directly and compassionately with balancing occupation and vocation, co-workers and family, past and present.

To Gain the Day

Red Bird Chapbooks. Mar 2015.
Publisher Website: http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/ToGainTheDay
Author Website: http://www.anthony-frame.com/


About the Author

Anthony Frame is an exterminator who lives in Toledo, OH with his wife. He is the Poetry Editor for The Indianola Review and he is the author of one book, A Generation of Insomniacs (Main Street Rag Press, 2014), and three chapbooks, To Gain the Day (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2015),Everything I Know …(ELJ Publications, 2014) and Paper Guillotines (Imaginary Friend Press, 2010). His poems have been published in or are forthcoming from Verse Daily,  Third Coast, Harpur Palate, diode, North American Review,and Gulf Stream, among others. His work also appears in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel(Major Arcana Press, 2014) and Bigger Than They Appear: An Anthology of Very Short Poems(Accents Publishing, 2011). His work was awarded an Individual Excellence Award from The Ohio Arts Council and he has been nominated for inclusion for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and for a Pushcart Prize. He also writes reviews for Weave Magazine.

What You and the Devil Do to Stay Warm (Blue Horse Press 2015) ~ Tyree Daye

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The devil has never been as human as he is in What You and the Devil Do to Stay Warm, Tyree Daye’s utterly engrossing chapbook. In these poems, we are given both beauty as well as the darkness it thrives in: a pond of blood rather than a pool, the pain of a rotting tooth that make the blues really sing. Tyree Daye is a first caliber truth-teller whose poems remind us that godliness is a choice we must decide to make daily against the odds of living.

—Tarfia Faizullah, author of Seam

What You and the Devil Do to Stay Warm

Blue Horse Press. Oct 2015.
Publisher Website: www.bluehorsepress.com
Author Website:
Purchase from: Amazon


About the Author

Tyree Daye is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.A in creative writing. In August 2015 he will attend North Carolina State University for his MFA in poetry. He’s been published in Prairie Schooner, Jacar Press, San Pedro River Review, Connotation Press. His first chapbook is entitled Sea Island Blues, published by Backbone Press.