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The 'landscape and milieu' of MANDATORY EVACUATION

Mandatory Evacuation by Peter MakuckA new review of Peter Makuck's Mandatory Evacuation, published in the latest issue of North Carolina Literary Review, considers the difference between writers who "love to make up almost everything" and those who "prefer to work with the landscapes and milieu made familiar by upbringing, home, and travel."

Recognizing that Makuck "tends toward the latter," reviewer Marly Youmans aims to "discover how rooted a narrator can be in his own times and places." She says, "The persona emerging from the poems of Mandatory Evacuation observes and is allied to the 'hunched figure with his hook, / shaped like a question, pole tossed' into the shiny blackness of the Tar River. The bright metal hook in that wet darkness asks an unknown question and waits for a tug on the line in response. The poet is attentive to place and to signs of the spirit and to the changing weather of his own life (including hurricanes that put a home at risk and lead to the mandatory evacuations of the title)."

The review continues: "Long past Romanticism, though loving the richness of 'Renoir-time' and foreign color and image, the poet finds words and landscape to be uneasy partners. He often feels the inadequacy of language. Often, nothing can touch the powers and vividness of nature.

"The poems sweep across the world, evoking a wild variety of landscapes and the people who belong to them. . . . Here are no arbitrary backgrounds, but a strong umbilical line running from narrator to landscape and milieu."

The North Carolina Literary Review is available via subscription and in independent bookstores across the state.

Click here for more information about Mandatory Evacuation.

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