Book Reviews

Kiriti Sengupta’s Rituals offers an intriguing glimpse into the concept of ‘ritual’; however, one cannot help but feel as they flip the pages that there is deeper meaning to be had yet. This book of poetry’s title surely sets an expectation of what might be found within, largely influenced by the reader’s own conceptualization of what ritual is, but Sengupta’s offerings—in an alchemy of their own—seem to transform and change as you hold them up to the light. Sengupta’s work is inextricably grounded in the mundane of the day-to-day of his world but at the same time reflective of the deeper spiritual meanings that connect us all and bring order to our sometimes-chaotic lives...Read more at Fishbowl Press Poetry!!!

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Indelible Fingerprints (Alien Buddha Press, 2019) by Thasia Ann Lunger

It is inconceivable that this would be David Estringel’s first trip around the publishing block. His words paint pastel word pictures. Right from the start in the first poem, “life in/verse” his artistry covers the canvas with this vision “like drifts of grey ash from a burning tower, scorching across white sheets”, simply set the tone for me. As a fireman’s daughter, it was easy to transport myself to the scene of an out of control fire watching ash rain across our family car. David shakes me from that vision and whispers into my psyche, “I disturb the peace of blank pages with the moving pictures of my silent film”. Time and again, he creates visions that show me the way. In “Solace” he shares, “like wicker baskets of water, the head can’t hold thoughts”. By the second poem, I know I am in for the long haul. There is a sweet sensuality that shines through many differently descriptive works, such as, “Blue Room” that can stretch across the sheets of paper in “Tethered to a flash of smiles”, and then again in the visual of “Tangle of tongues”. “When I Think of Him, I Think of Black Coffee and Toast with Red Plumb Jam” David paints a picturesque tribute with weathered words of his stoic father. He refers to the “big iron box of important papers”. He sweeps you in with foreboding to share; “I woke up one morning to the smell of blueberry pancakes—the kind my mother used to make on special occasions or when there was bad news. I was twelve.” Look closely to discover how David recirculates for “The Spaces in Between” - the haunting vision yet adds that “recollections become moving pictures of my silent film”. I feel that David Estringel has come out of the gate with a complete command of language and emotion in this first published endeavor. Great read.

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Blood Honey (Anxiety Press, 2022)

“Poetry should grab us and make us either want to heal or destroy the world. Blood Honey does both.” 

— Justine Jones, editor and cultural critic

“Estringel is a sage we can look for both to know ourselves, and the art we create.” 

— Aaron Thompson, freelance journalist

Blood Honey embraces the reader with its humanity and heart.” 

— Janelle Janson, reviewer

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Cold Comfort House (Anxiety Press, 2022)

“Cold Comfort House is a testament to a lifetime of paying attention, as well as an open invitation for us to do the same.” — Justine Jones, freelance editor

“David Estringel has been a favorite poet of mine since I was first introduced to him through A Thin Slice of Anxiety. This is a perfect book.” — Janelle Janson, reviewer

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Eating Pears on the Rooftop (Finishing Line Press, 2022)

“The poems in Eating Pears on the Rooftop by David Estringel explore tender heartbreak where 'nights are hardest to bear, / alone, atop these unwashed sheets / that smell of your and me, still, / crinkled and heavy with ghosts.' The reader discovers beauty and strength in these powerful poems.” — Leah huete de Maines, Poet-in-Residence Emerita at Northern Kentucky University

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