Review published at Haibun Today

I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Steven Carter’s latest haiku/haibun collection, Pillars of Fire. Excitingly, this review is now online and available to read. Here’s a section from the review:

Opening poem “Errand” is a fine example of Carter’s taut, incisive prose. Like many of the haibun in this collection, the subject matter is unsettling. “Errand” invites the reader to enter a moment between son and father-in-law, a man described by Carter as “blunt and crude.” In this moment, the son is asked to help drown a litter of kittens, a job he finds no joy in, but does not refuse, subtly illustrating the power imbalance in the relationship. As the moment unfolds, the son is handed a burlap sack to collect the kittens and then after a silent drive to the reservoir, the father-in-law asks, “Want to do it?” And in these four words, the tension of the poem is masterfully brought to a crescendo. The younger man, seeing this as a test, a strange initiation, tosses the bag “dead centre in the reservoir” and watches it disappear . . . only to turn and see his father-in-law, “leaning on the flat-bed, back turned, pretending to look assiduously into the distance.”

You can read the full review here and order the book online here: www.albapublishing.com

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