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Birth Marks offers new look at 'cruelty' and 'community'

BirthMarks_Front In a recent Newpages review of Jim Daniels' new collection Birth Marks, reviewer Kelly M. Sylvester focuses attention on the people inhabiting the poems: "students trying to get away with plagiarism or trying to commit suicide, an addict nephew, and a drunk-thief-TV repairman." According to the Sylvester, "Daniels applies overt wit throughout his poems about the various characters and the backdrops they inhabit, especially when the narrator is commenting on his own experiences." Daniels' collection focuses on the urban landscape and its effects on its inhabitants as they struggle to establish community. The way he does this, however, is entirely unexpected. "In 'Foundation' Daniels writes a pointed question-and-answer stanza which serves as the foundation for the entire collection of poems in Birth Marks. “Why did we have such a crush / on cruelty? It held us up. / It had our back. It never let us down.” As readers explore the very heart of Daniels’s urban landscapes and the working-class experiences within these communities, they should reflect on his keen observation." Click here to read the entire Newpages review. Birth Marks is available now at the BOA Bookstore.
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