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Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

Review: Boneshepherds by Patrick Rosal

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Via Muzzle Magazine: Boneshepherds by Patrick Rosal A Review by Jacob Victorine, Book Reviewer

I’ve rarely come to a collection of poetry with more expectations than in the case of Patrick Rosal’s Boneshepherds. I had read his two previous collections, My American Kundiman (2006) and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive (2003), and felt akin to this writer who so gracefully straddles the narrative and the lyrical, the inexplicable and the performative. Rosal is one of the few poets I know of who can address the reader directly (as he does in “Pride Fight”) without drawing him out of the poem. Rosal’s poems ask to be lifted to the mouths of his readers, yet once visited on the page they reveal even greater intricacies. This oral quality does not only present itself in Rosal’s writing style, however, but also in his themes. For as long as I’ve been aware of his poetry, Rosal has been a poet who concerns himself with music and the body. Boneshepherds represents his most ambitious attempt at merging these two motifs.

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