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Review of 'Nomina' for Poetry International #17


Stephany Prodromides’ review of BOA’s publication, Nomina written by Karen Volkman for "Poetry International #17," highlights Volkman’s abstract wordplay in her poems. “There is no question that these are athletic poems; they open their fullest flower to those with a strong vocabulary.” Prodromide also states that within Volkman’s poems there is a certainty of truth, even mathematical truth, which are both essentially beyond understanding. Prodromide believes Nomina is fine work where meaning is both exponential and multidirectional within the book. “The heavy consonance, end rhymes, internal rhymes, and the repeated ‘none’ and mathematical concepts create a musical meaning over and above the etymological one. We make meaning in and across these tensile sonnets the same way we pluck a constellation out of the night sky: by finding patterns in the sound or sense—most fruitfully, when both combine.” Karen Volkman’s poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, American Poets of the 21st Century: The New Poetics, and The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative Poetry. Recipient of awards from the NEA, the Poetry Society of America, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and the Bogliasco Foundation, she has taught as several universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. Purchase Nomina here.


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