Reviews

If poets are historians of the present, Kim Malinowski proves this true with her debut poetry collection, Home. The everyday is made manifest with personal impact and lyricism by a poet who notices everything—then makes it permanent in passing. It’s not often we find a perfect blend of classical understanding with popular consciousness— that’s what makes these poems delicious and impossible to put down.

 

Grace Cavalieri

Maryland Poet Laureate

Kim Malinowski's Home is thoughtful, compassionate, contemplative and wise; also witty. This chapbook shows careful attention to its informing themes of transformation, love and family and nature. Poems open out of the epilogue of “Sunset” and Rilke's words '. . .your life is a stone in you, and, the next, a star.” Beginning with Home, the title poem with its lilac root readied for transplant that represents connection to both our human and our physical worlds, Malinowski subtly presents connections as steathily as Hansel and Gretel strew crumbs. Over and over, the poet's subject is the earth and the wider universe and how both can heal, and how living and healing in this world are hard won. Language, nature, the stars, and sometimes magic are things that can rescue. “Today I read a word,/Tomorrow I will choose another,”in “The Poet illustrates the complicated intertwining of creating art and living a life. The use of mythology and fairy tales and pantheistic credos make for a rich mix that shakes up our ideas: the sleeping Snow White declaring, “I was never sleeping/just waiting.” Death is in these pages, and love and loss, and surrender to grief, but always there is nature as solace; twice the tortoise provides a template for survival and longevity, and rivers and canyons both ground and exalt. The linking of the poems I much admire. in “Comfort,” Rilke and language are referenced to later appear in “If Comets Were Tears,” a grouping of sixteen poems that describe through constellations, discovery, love, death, and the loss of a lover, and coming through grief to understand one's place in the universe and “stars as markers of time.” Shaping a book asks of the poet a difficult task: Take these good poems and make them into a beautiful and moving book. This Kim Malinowski has done.

Gail Galloway Adams

Recipient of the Flannery O'Connor Award

"How does water form such wonder?" Kim Malinowski asks in her poem, "Painted Canyon. Indeed, Malinowksi's book wonders about the natural world and the people that inhabit it, looking to the legacy of her family history and myth to craft poems that hold each moment like a stone in the hand, turning it over to see each nook and cranny.

 

Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes

Author of Ashely Sugarnotch & the Wolf

Home is a lyric journey through love, loss, and celebration. The narrator sets forth (“Will the wind still convey the scent of lilacs and whisper my name?”), expresses love, as in “Grandma Lillian” (“never without melody”), moves freely into the imaginative realm, as in “Goddess” (“I think that I’m most like Nut, / starlight and magic”), and experiences turning points, as in “Atheneum.” The final sequence titled “If Comets Were Tears,” an homage to a beloved soul, concludes this beautifully-written, versatile collection: “And I would dance beneath the canopy of the heavens—knowing I would be reunited, and that my star pen would write a galaxy’s worth of words…”

Lisa Bellamy

Recipient of the Pushcart Prize The Northway

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