Kathy Shaidle’s Poetry, Old and New

Kathy Shaidle’s Poetry, Old and New December 22, 2014

So I took part in this year-end books roundup with AmCon, and once again told everybody to read Kathy Shaidle’s 1998 poetry collection, Lobotomy Magnificat. You can get a longer review from me here but really, it’s a short book, why not throw it in your basket?

Shaidle replied; I thought this bit was esp interesting: “A lot of people see ‘compassion’ in my poetry and other early writing that I simply don’t think is there. I think they’re seeing what they want to see.”

She also noted that her newer poems are available online here. I admit these don’t hit me at all the way the ones in Lobotomy do. They’re the same kind of poem but not as jagged and vertiginous, not as deep. I like “Dream of the Rood” and there’s good stuff in some of the others, but the work in Lobotomy is on another level. (Which, among other things, means that if the online stuff doesn’t do it for you, you should still check out her book.) I take Shaidle’s point that she’s in a different place now, and will just be grateful that the earlier work is out there.


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