North Carolina Literary Review Online 2021

Page 54

2021

NORTH CAROLINA L I T E R A R Y RE V I E W

DIRECTING OUR ATTENTION TO THE FINITE THINGS OF THIS WORLD

COURTESY OF CHRISTY ALEXANDER HALLBERG

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a review by Amber Flora Thomas Catherine Carter. Larvae of the Nearest Stars: Poems. Louisiana State University Press, 2019.

AMBER FLORA THOMAS is the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, and the Relia Lossy Poetry Award. She has an MFA in poetry writing from Washiington University in St. Louis, and is now an Associate Professor at East Carolina University. She is the author of three poetry collections, including, most recently, Red Channel in the Rupture (Red Hen Press, 2018; reviewed in NCLR Online 2019). This is CATHERINE CARTER’s third Louisiana State University poetry collection. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Poetry, Ecotone, Tar River Poetry, Cortland Review, Ploughshares, and NCLR. She has won several awards for her poetry, including the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke-Chowan Award, NCLR’s James Applewhite Poetry Prize, and the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. Read her Applewhite Prize poem in NCLR 2019.

We must not hesitate to be open to the world, no matter how challenging our days and hours have been of late. This anguish, this beauty is the stuff of living. But if you cannot bear to squint into the winds of change, then by all means let Catherine Carter’s latest collection of poems, Larvae of the Nearest Stars, show you how to navigate the riches of this world one poem at a time. The first clue of the magic housed in this lush collection of poems can be gleaned from the title, which invites scientific and mythical introspection, preparing readers for a work that will challenge the earthbound and the lunar throughout. “Seining the Parking Lot,” the poem that holds the line that became the book’s title, presents us with a net of great vision, rich in opulent sound and an inexhaustible willingness to exploit as much finite detail as possible, as we catapult, clammer, scurry, and are transported along with a flood, where a wasted condom spills its . . . freight of joy

ABOVE Catherine Carter reading her 2018

or shame, split now to admit passage of

James Applewhite Poetry Prize-winning poem during the NCLR Writers Celebrating Indie Bookstores event at Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC, 27 Apr. 2019

squirming fingerling mermaids, or a glittering lively handful of what, at first, could well be bioluminescent copepods.


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