Blueshifting by Heather Kamins (a review)

by Heather Kamins
Upper Rubber Boot Books, 2011

I thought this was an interesting collection; I appreciated the mix of free-verse forms–several prose poems, several poems written in couplets. Very imaginative, with poems like “Eggcorns” and “You Are What You Eat.”

At times the use of color (in the title poem, “and this is why the cobalt light / shimmers with its deepest ache”) becomes heavy-handed. And in the same way some poems, though imaginative, constantly questioning the reader, seemed stretched too far, pulling at their seams, while others felt inherently true.

One such poem, my favorite in the collection, was “Headspace,” where she writes:

. . . as you measure
strawberries and sugar into a tall pot and
sterilize mason jars
and snap from your borrowed nostalgia
as the instructor tells you to leave half an inch
between the top of the preserves and the top of the jar
so the contents may expand.

The comparison of “nostalgia” to the space needed in a mason jar for the preserves to expand was a new perspective, one I as a reader believed.


This review is part of the poetry blog tour Couplets, organized by Upper Rubber Boot Books. To learn more or read other blogposts in the tour, click the link below:


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