Black Lawrence Press
August 30, 2010

Wonderfully Witty and Adept

We’d like to thank the good people at Verse Wisconsin for including The Brother Swimming Beneath Me in their roundup of seven titles by “younger Wisconsin poets”.

Of Goodman, reviewer Wendy Vardaman had many good things to say. Here are a few of our favorites:

Both the sonnet and the prose poem figure prominently, and Brent Goodman’s beautifully written the brother swimming beneath me includes examples of both. “First Queer Poem,” a Shakespearean sonnet that takes a little rhythmic license, is wonderfully witty and adept, adapting the form for fresh content, the subject of coming out…

The third section of Goodman’s book, “Spiral Course,” consists entirely of smallish prose poems. They don’t always hang together, but the best have a delicacy and tension created by sharp, surprising images, an underlying deadpan humor, and gaps in meaning that require their reader to leap like one of their characters “from atop the creaking armoire” in order to make sense of them, as in “[directions to my house]” or “[robots]” or “[bad birthday]” which concludes: “A week after the party and still the foil balloons wander around the apartment beating their heads along the stucco ceiling”(52)…

To read the entire review, which includes a discussion of books by fellow Wisconsinites Brenda Cárdenas, Nick Lantz, John Murillo, Matt Schumacher, Angela Sorby, and Bianca Spriggs, follow this link.

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