Carmen Giménez Smith brings readers an award-worthy, cling-to-every-word collection with Be Recorder. I found myself at the last line of several poems shaking my head with a rousing mmm mmm mmmmm. Divided into three sections, this poetry bliss moves through mythic moments of creation, calls to action and complex relationships. We take the expensive trip through “the past the present the lie / the reality the parlor game the miniseries / the battle older than me in my helix” and are told to “just charge it to my race card.” The foot never lets off the pedal as Be Recorder shifts toward the familial, taking on Alzheimer’s and motherhood. “I Will Be My Mother’s Apprentice,” “Beasts” and “American Mythos” make this book a standout gift for adult children of aging parents.
In A Most Tolerant Little Town, Rachel Louise Martin captures the violence, fear and fortitude that accompanied the first court-mandated school desegregation in America.