Book Review for Jeff Parent ‘This Bygone Route’ review by Maid Corbic

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Jeff Parent @yuppoems on Twitter

“This Bygone Route” is one wonderful book collection that continues to conquer the entire world. In each poem we can find knowledge of the world and of what we may present ourselves today; his words are still very large and steady no matter what else they say. Struggling with himself and his ego, he continues to revive his deeds in beautiful deeds that are instructive to all of us, not just him. Many of these poems that I have read are very important, so they talk about life, the real state of man and emotions that are trivial, equally persistent, and they can always tell us about life that is equal. Of course, everything we experience is just one real situation that we have to overcome with courage and equality, and this collection of books shows us just that.

A special stylistic text describes all the poems I have read and are metrically very accurate. It is very difficult to see that today. This collection is also very wonderful as it also has many lyrical images; describes nature, a man who always tries to fight what is still stable and flat for him, with human epithets and times that are bad for him. His stage of life as well as his thinking itself gradually changes when he realizes that he can no longer hold on to equality and words that continued to become harder and harder for him. A collection that always gives selectness, is always concisely worded every one of his works that carries multiple messages; the struggle for rights, unrequited love or those conditions that we have to worry about, mentally where many today no longer care about it and create dangerous barriers. Every goal must also justify the means, because only in this way can we declare a story to be realistic and enduring. Not otherwise.


The struggle is present and the passion for a man to wake up from some daydreams like a phoenix and to rise far regardless of the events around him. The name of the collection itself can carry a lot of forty-one poems, each of which is fantastic in its own way, and each of them shows an explicit desire and opportunity to progress in this world that has continued to become unsettled. Times change and life slowly begins to get harder and harder, but the author does not give up so easily either; he reciprocates his energies in each poem and proves that the world around him is still dignified and colorful, and that in the end he has reason to live another year in happiness and peace, and not just be one sad black bird that has to fly from one end. on the other. He still carried sin in some poems, but that does not mean that he is a sinner. On the contrary, he is a very strong man who shows time and direction in every poem, a direction he deserves to proudly carry in the depths of his woven soul, because he values around himself the best deeds and works that other people bring him.

Of all the poems, “Eclipse Year” is the most realistic because it is about the author himself who is trying to find his peace in his world and to live some of his unfulfilled dreams, because he wanted to be still alive; only he felt he was trapped between two lines and no longer had a reason to live some of his cherished dreams. But on the contrary, he believed, as in many poems, that God is only one and that everything he creates is really just his thought that made him think of others maybe some bad things and maybe he did not dream or want that. He believed that there must be a story behind every corner that would lead him to some small details that would eventually lead to even bigger ones, but he thought that time did best. This is what the narrative of the poem itself says, the year of the turning point and the environment in which he finds himself, and it is time to finally dedicate himself and realize all his dreams until he finally becomes an old man and where he will still not be able to work and dream all his dreams. the desires he dreamed; because his reality was still on shaky ground. The year of cataclysm, to put it mildly, this poems says that we still have to be strong and look forward as always, not to think black things because that’s the only way those that we don’t want to see and feel can happen to us, because the worst defeat is when we declare without any warning beforehand. Year after year, some things will improve. Nothing will ever stay so dark and that justice must always win in the end.

“Coming home” means one part of the song in which the author sets himself in plans and wishes, but he slowly realizes it. He lives in an ideal world where nothing is equal to him, but he is afraid of being so doomed in that reality, because he must value himself first and foremost and ultimately be the leader of his dreams that he realizes. He wanted everything he did to be only in his mind and that one day if he was lucky and accomplished. This poem is thoughtful, but of course it takes on great significance because the lack of the figure of an important person still leaves a trace of the great in the heart that cannot be healed so easily, as for example his father when he loved very much and I would give anything for him. Nothing happened just so by accident and he had to believe that between waking and dreaming there is only one wish and thought, and that is a better and more beautiful world that awaits him one day when he disappears. The belief is that the world is one steam engine that leads to the end and that revision is always just his life, which no longer makes sense because of a very important figure. Some things cannot be repeated together as before.


“Humidex” is also a great poem that says that the title is first and foremost very special and that it fits in brilliantly about these happenings, is the self-awareness it holds. Psychologically speaking, metrically correct. Many competitions can achieve exceptional work, but of course its message is numerous, which the author must eventually find a solution on his own and be guided by thoughts that have become very difficult for him, because the song itself requires a lot of concentration. But far from true, of course this is a poem that has emotions and style in it, it has colors and comparisons even.

I was especially impressed by the fact that it is very nicely decorated in a visual sense; from margins to padding, to numbering, and from poems to lyrical images to metaphors – in one place everything can be found very easily and in an assistant. All the titles of the poems are very ingenious and creative, each author can find inspiration for some future works that he will have and that in the end he creates something that no one else could, and that is diversity.

With forty-one pages, forty-one possible visions of the world, I still have a strong impression after reading, so it is true that this book may be extremely incomprehensible for beginners, but for professionals it is very clear and helpful.


“Acid Rain Day” is a poem that is presented in the most beautiful light. It is one of the long poems that are free forms, as well as many poems that you will read here of course with great joy, it is wonderful when that love is still cultivated sincere and pure, which is drinkable according to the times to come, nature and culture of living on which we observe “for granted”. Much is offered here, from family values to encouragement in every desire, for yet the courage today is that anything can be done, and be warted to ruin. It all makes you laugh when you are a parent who puts herself in her roots and supports the virgin, not to cry and be happy when she lives her true dream that must come true anyway. It is the poem that talks about parenthood, courage and the very culture of living, the epilogue of the event is all the memories of the window that are watched in silence.

It is important to say that everything is very nicely packaged, from the composition of the parents to the black bird that flies silently in songs, sometimes a happy epilogue and sometimes sad give a psychological meaning to a person to develop his writing and focus on a reality that never she was no closer. After reading this you can be very proud of yourself, because it is wonderful at the end of each work to realize that there are some emotions that you also live, that we all live. That is why the poems serve us, as well as Acid Rain Day to show that there is joy between every sorrow, even though it is the window of the observer’s eye, it depends on the time we live in, so it will be for us. And I, I tell you to read this book and to happily share your advice with everyone around you, because only in this way can some things be experienced and be as wonderful and fabulous as ever. In the end, the message of this book is to love yourself, to empathize with others, and to live always, but always for your dreams and desires that you have buried in your memory data, part of the real brain.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Maid Corbic

A Book Review for Steve Denehan “The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain” Review by Georgia Hilton

The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain: Poetry Collection by [Steve Denehan]

https://amzn.to/3jWEMUq

The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in The Rain,
(Steve Denehan, Potter’s Grove Press, 2021)

The first impression a reader may have when encountering Steve Denehan’s new collection is that the author has found his version of the good life and is unapologetically living it. There’s little poetic angst here – The Streets, Like Flowers, Come Alive in the Rain is quietly life-affirming and uplifting, but never corny or overly sentimental. Instead, it revels in the knowledge that joy arrives quietly, without fanfare, in small domestic moments. Take the poem ‘Rain’, where the author reflects that ‘happiness comes easy these days’, and that after searching for it for years, he realises ‘it was there all along/ hiding in plain sight/ in the folds of that old woollen blanket/ in the press filled with lunchboxes and Tupperware.’

That’s not to say that Denehan shies away from the difficult subjects, far from it. In The Tossed Coins of John Canning, the poet’s family meets a homeless man ‘a hard life behind him/a harder one to come’. Discovering that he is also a poet ‘of wrong turns/ and bad calls’, Denehan muses that ‘it could have been me/ could still be yet.’ This is someone who never takes his version of the good life for granted, who knows that everything can change in a heartbeat. Perhaps this is the key to the sense of quiet gratitude that permeates this collection.

Denehan is a humane, compassionate writer, but he also gives wry expression to some of the absurdities of modern life. In The High Cost of Breathing, Denehan recounts his disbelief at ‘The Oxygen Bar’, where he encounters a dozen people ‘smiling under oxygen masks/ breathing pure air/scented with flowers and butterscotch’. In Destination Restaurant, the poet can’t hide his revulsion at the ‘guffaw…of a truffle scoffing, oily-mouthed snob’. Denehan picks apart the absurdity and pretension of modern life with skilful precision, whilst reminding us of what’s really important – meaningful relationships with those we love.

It’s no surprise then that the most memorable poems are those written about Denehan’s daughter, Robin, who provides the foreword for the book. In One More Week, Robin writes a poem about her grandfather – ‘having read it/ I was quiet/ while I waited/ for the lump in my throat to subside’. In The Dance Class he muses that ‘inside her chest there are no corners/ her blood/ and some of mine/ dark fire dancing…with the only music that really matters.’

This is a collection primarily concerned with what really matters. It never sacrifices sincerity for artfulness but is nonetheless accomplished. As Robin herself says of her Dad’s writing – ‘his poems always make me think.’

Georgia Hilton

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Georgia Hilton

The Featured Poetry Showcase for Steve Denehan

“What The Owl Taught Me” by Annest Gwilym a poetry book review by Mashaal Sajid

What the Owl Taught Me by Annest Gwilym | North of Oxford
What The Owl Taught Me

“What the owl taught me” is Annest Gwilym’s first full-length Poetry collection published by Lapwing Publications in 2020. Having read Annest’s debut poetry chapbook “Surfacing”, I looked forward to delve into this collection and my anticipation was rewarded. A bestiary of sorts,  “what the owl taught me” is a perfect read for anyone who approaches themes of nature and wildlife with adoration and cautious reverence. 

Annest depicts the spirit of living creatures from mythological birds, sea urchin and moths to endangered critters in these 40 Poems. The collection is hallmarked with quaint verses giving human characteristics to animals like: “scuffle for a crumb on the street, sinewy legs dance and pounce”, “upright head, a Roman nose”, “shimmied and played chase with the ladies”, “underwater acrobats”, “as your mocking laughter ripples”, “he keeps vigil, forages, shovels snow”, and “in his robe of sun he cartwheels”.

Perhaps due to my biased fascination with moths, but mostly because of these opening lines “I rode through the liquid night, as a melon-slice moon crested a bank of cloud”, Last Night I Became An Emperor Moth is my favourite poem in this collection. It takes you on a first person view of a moth’s night journey, flying over moor and sea, to end in a desire filled moment with the anticipation of some obscure ferine mating ritual: “There to wait for my lover; my musk strong, / it will draw him from miles. He will come, / wings taut with blood. Antennae fresh as ferns.”

Some poems are heavy with environmentalist concern and themes of extinction. Golden child is a concrete poem about the endangered Raja Undulate sting ray, the speaker describes the beauty of the creature calling her ‘beauty queen of rays’, the voice breaks to distressed prayer towards the end: “Golden child, I pray you don’t go the way of the golden toad”. “The Last Woolly Mammoth” paints a macabre and mournful picture of the extinction of the last Woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island. Tinted with grief and loss, it features a mother child duo, the child after witnessing his mother’s death surrenders to loneliness and demise. The poem holds bitter lessons about climate crisis and environmentally harmful practices : “People have taken bones and tusks, of his dead tribe, wear his family’s coats on their backs.”

What The Owl Taught Me contains many brilliant Poems, among these, the ones that stood out to me the most are: “Last Night I Became An Emperor Moth”, “Domesticated”, “Barn Owl”, “The Nightmare Bird”, “The Moon Hedgehog”, and “Wasp’s Nest”. Their language is fresh and alive with poignant oft eerie imagery like “The ugly planet hangs like a mutilated moon”, “he fled through looms of leaves, fingered by spiders”, “moon-bitten, storm struck eater of stars, and dreams, it’s scream strangles the night “, “silken killer moves like water”, and “when I see you I could burst into flower”

What the owl taught me is a stirring read that captures your attention throughout. The collection is a testimony to Annest’s poetic prowess. Anyone with an interest in bestiaries, a love for wildlife and their share of environmentalist concerns would thoroughly enjoy this book.

 Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Annest Gwilym

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Mashaal Sajid

Book Review: “Surfacing” by Annest Gwilym  (review by Mashaal Sajid)

Book Review: “Surfacing” by Annest Gwilym (review by Mashaal Sajid)

Poetry Pamphlet Review: Surfacing by Annest Gwilym | Sammi Loves Books
Surfacing by Annest Gwilym

A dauntless and personal debut poetry collection by Annest Gwilym. Surfacing was published in 2018 by Lapwing Publications. Annest is based in North Wales, near Snowdonia National Park. Her writing has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. She has been placed in competitions, winning one in recent years and she was the editor of the former webzine Nine Muses Poetry.

Surfacing is a collection of poems all unified by themes dealing with mental illness, loneliness and anguish. One distinguishing feature of this collection is the speaker’s tenacity and spirit and how their vulnerability allows us to feel for and have a closer look into the internal world of someone struggling with mental illness. 

The book cover is symbolic of light at the end of the tunnel or in this case a glimmer at the end of a passage under a dark canopied forest. The 19 poems all with unique poignant titles are arranged into three parts, each denoting a shift in the atmosphere which is most evident in ‘Bright little pill’ and ‘Beach pottery mosaic’. The language is at times abrupt,flowing with underwater references and seascapes at other times like “The sea outside your house slyly slides past mine”, “My heart beats sea-surged”, and “even my broken glass can become sea treasure”. 

Evocative imagery paired with visuals of animals and the natural world world like “Before the Storm irises Black Star lilies”, “In a forest full of hemlock and wolfsbane”, “a sweet soil shelter” transports you to a welsh landscape and reminded me of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations. The first part heavy with imagery that invokes loneliness, desolation and being distant from the world, paired with everyday visuals like “percussion of washing machine”, “blinds are drawn day doesn’t break there”, “the cutlery is mismatched”, “slow as a Sunday afternoon” becomes haunting. 

The poems in the second part deal with fear, paranoia, treatment and drowsy liminal hospital rooms. The poem ‘Last night’ echoes Lady Lazarus. This part has a very dream heavy and sleep induced atmosphere, Some imagery that really stood out is “If they shut me in an attic I could fly out on singed wings”, “whaled woman lies beached drowning lungs broadcast”, “people move like smoke”.


In the third part of the collection the language becomes more grounded in reality and the atmosphere becomes warmer, the visuals calm and solitary but familiar as we move towards the end the tone shifts to one of hope. “The house curls in on itself”, “festive glow of pub and bistro”, “the steaming parcel a warm hand in mine”, “the sun’s yolk descends behind the island where I picked wild strawberries” are some examples. 

Life Underwater is my favorite Poem in Surfacing, it has a beautiful form and makes brilliant use of references and imagery. “Like Sisyphus I roll each jellied day one after the other, Without Orpheus to sing me back” this line leaves me astounded every time. 
Surfacing takes you on an intense reflective and emotive journey which ends for the reader in a warm and hopeful way.


Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Annest Gwilym


Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Mashaal Sajid







Excerpts from interview with Kentucky Poet Ron Whitehead from 2019 in Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest Issue 1

(c) Ron Whitehead, Jinn Bug
About Ron Whitehead: Kentucky Legend & Poet First:

It is hard living the life of just one poet at times.
Always a rush of creativity and ideas to try and stay stabilized,
is not always the easiest task.
So, what would you do if you have lived the life of 1,000 poets?
Ask Ron Whitehead
A Kentucky born, and current Beat Poet Laureate of Kentucky for the years of 2019-2021.
*note* as I was putting together the first edition of the Fevers of the Mind Anthology Mr. Whitehead was the first ever Writer from the United States to represent as a writer-in-residence in Tartu, Estonia as part of an International Literature residency program.

Ron has been a poet, a professor at several universities, has held lectures, workshops, has founded a music & poetry marathon called "The Insomniacathon" which is perfect for all sleep deprived poetry-eaters.   For endless inspiration, just attend an Insomniacathon, and walk into a new world where words are the images, and the world outside becomes silent.
Ron has produced the official Hunter S. Thompson tribute.
Ron knew Hunter S. Thompson & has many stories about hanging out with him and other poets from the Beat Generation and beyond.

Ron Whitehead is not just a poet, he is a lead man of "The Storm Generation Band" a band with him chanting out his poetry & lyrics.
You can see him at big festivals, or you might see him at a small bar or coffeehouse in a small Mid-Western city like Evansville, Indiana.
That is where I met and listened to Ron's poetry.  He appeared humble, generous, kind, helpful and poetry driven in messages to inspire for a better world.

his website is www.tappingmyownphone.com

Excerpts from an Interview with Ron Whitehead (2019):

Q: Hi Ron, Thanks for granting me this interview for Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest. First off, I without all the merits that you have see many parallels in our poetry upbringing.   
I grew up in a town (not a farm however) in Western Kentucky in Webster County.  My father & grandfather grew up on the farms of Kentucky, and I'd always hear the stories.   I lived a small amount of time in the city of New Orleans in my early twenties.   Maybe, this is where most of the parallels end.  You have lived most of your life in Kentucky, so what about Kentucky do you love?

Ron: Hello David. I come from a long line of farmers, coal miners, and strong women. I grew up on a beautiful old ramshackle Kentucky farm. A wild nature boy, when I finished my chores, I roamed the dirt roads, the rolling hills, and the woods.  I love Kentucky. It's in my DNA. I've lived and traveled all over the world and wherever I go I preach the Kentucky Gospel.  There's no place on earth like Kentucky.  Kentucky is the land of freedom fighters and original independent creative artists! It is my land, the land I love.

Q: What influences do you attribute most from having lived in Kentucky?  When traveling to other states & countries do you ever run into people that put a stigma on Kentucky, and make unnecessary assumptions about the state?

Ron: When I arrived at the University of Oxford, for studies at the International Graduate School, and knocked the Head of English Literature Valentine Cunningham's door we shook hands, exchanged names, he looked down at my feet, looked back up and said "I didn't know people from Kentucky wore shoes." I stared deep into his eyes and laughing I said "Haha, A smartass. We'll get along great." And we did.  ......

Q:  After many awards, honors, years of teaching, writing, What would you consider to be the most rewarding?

Ron: All of it. I love and embrace in all of its terrible beauty. 

Q: You have edited works of many poets. Whom in particular did you say WOW to, when you were asked to edit their works?

Ron: I never imagined I would edit and publish so many of the world's leading poets, writers, musicians, cultural figures. Lordy, the list is too long to mention here. I edited William S. Burroughs' Remembering Jack Kerouac from prose to poem form and published it.  He gave me permission to publish the prose piece, but we hadn't discussed transforming it into a poem, which I did so I could include it in my Published in Heaven Poster series.  Burroughs asked me to get a photo from Allen Ginsberg, which I did. When I shipped Burroughs his copies on the poster I was sweating, worried he'd be pissed, maybe even ask me to recall the posters. He loved them. Whew. Major relief!

Q: What is a classic story you could tell, in which you had a long night hanging with Hunter S. Thompson, Gregory Corso, or Allen Ginsberg?

Ron: Oh God! Too many stories, about all three of them. One night, after driving 24 hours non-stop from Kentucky to Owl Farm, Woody Creek, outside Aspen, Colorado, I'm standing in the kitchen with Hunter S. Thompson. He's signing Published in Heaven Posters of He Was a Crook, his Nixon obituary. I told him I was driving straight on, after my visit with him, to San Francisco to have dinner the next night with my friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Hunter became reflective and started talking about Ferlinghetti and how much he liked and respected him.  He said "I'll write a message on one of the posters for Lawrence and you give it to him tomorrow, Okay?" I said "Okay." Hunter was a deeply reflective person. Despite his sometimes fierceness, he had the soul of a poet. 

Q: How long have you been doing Insomniacathons & also can you tell the readers about Gonzofest in Louisville during the Summer. ...

Ron: Kent Fielding and I produced the first ever 24-hour non-stop music & poetry Insomniacathon in 1993 at Twice Told Coffeehouse on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. I produced many after that, with Kent, Doug Brinkley, Andy Cook, and others. ....  
Gonzofest is a celebration of life and work of Louisville native son Hunter S. Thompson. On December 12, 1996 I produced the Official Hunter S. Thompson tribute, at Memorial Auditorium in Louisville.  I brought in Hunter, his mother Virginia, his son Juan, Johnny Depp, Warren Zevon, Douglas Brinkley, David Amram, Roxanne Pulitzer, and a host of others.  It was an amazing 4-hour event.  The Insomniacathons and Gonzofests are filled with creative energies and expressions. Being part of them always inspires me to create new work.  And, from what folks have shared with me, the creative spirit is contagious.

Q: How do you find time to do all that you do and have done & still be generous enough to answer questions for a small publication like this?

Ron: I was born with a high metabolism. I love collaborating with folks all over the world. Boredom is my greatest enemy. Having several creative projects going on simultaneously helps me stay healthy. New creative work inspires new creative work.  Mama and Daddy taught me not to look up to or down to anyone. We're al in this together, eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder.
When one of us is lifted up we are all lifted up.


Thanks Ron, 
for taking time out of your very busy schedule and answering my interview questions....

Ron: Thank you David!  See you at Gonzofest!!


Ron Whitehead bio & links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Whitehead

https://www.outlawpoet.movie/ron-whitehead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDPdYrjSN4

http://gonzotoday.com/author/ron-whiehead/

links to his books on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ron+whitehead&ref=nb_sb_noss

https://www.amazon.com/View-Lawrence-Ferlinghettis-Bathroom-Window/dp/1732209715/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ron+whitehead&qid=1621453356&sr=8-3