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Land's End

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and University Of Chicago Press for the e-copy.

these poems were truly something. I found myself reading each poem slowly and appreciating each word.
In the beginning as a e-copy it was hard keeping up where the poems would start and which one each was, but at the end I got the hang of it and really loved them. 
Would definitely recommend this collection to everyone who enjoys reading well written poetry. Poetry that allows you to go on a journey along with the writer and connect to the poetry on a personal level.
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Gail Mazur leads the reader through a maze of beauty in this volume of poetry.  Life in all of its ups and downs and in-betweens is explored through lyrical language and breathtaking imagery.  Highly recommended for poetry fans.
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This book contains some new poems as well as poems from previous work.
All of them were beautiful, with a huge variety of themes. I sensed a lot of nostalgia troughout, but never did the poems become overly sentimental. The themes included many social problems and they all have impact on how society can be viewed today. They all are worth reading, and taking your time to read thoroughly.
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Land's End: New and Selected Poems by Gail Mazur is published by the University of Chicago Press.  Mazur, a graduate of Smith College, is the author of several collections of poetry.  In 1973, she founded the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Harvard Square. Mazur has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, and the Radcliffe Institute. She is Distinguished Senior Writer in Residence in Emerson College's graduate program.

Range is a word that must be associated with Mazur.  She begins her new poems with Beatniks and McCarthy and smoothly moves into nature with the title poem, "Walking Barefoot, August," and "Thoreauvian." There is a nuanced fluidity to the poems that allow the subject to change as waves reach the beach.  Smooth in style.  Each poem seems unhurried and restful --  a verbal Monet.  Perhaps that too helps the reader visualize the summer sun, beach, or the hermit crab.  Nature claims a role in her writing:

They say the mind is an ocean,
but sometimes my mind is a pond
circular, shady,

obscure and surrounding the pond,
scrub oak, poison ivy, inedible
low hanging berries,

~ "Poem"

Brilliant, easy to read, and slip into poetry.  There are no airs or elaborate styling to the poetry. It is the kind of poetry that one drifts into and experiences.
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A powerful book of poetry.A book that had me slowly reading each poem ,.The poet shares from her life from the world as she sees it,Lyrical beautifully drawn written.#netgalley#ofchicagopress
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Land's End
New and Selected Poems
by Gail Mazur
University of Chicago Press 
 Literary Fiction  |  Poetry 
Pub Date 01 Sep 2020 


I am reviewing a copy of Land’s End through University of Chicago Press and Netgalley:



Poetry is perhaps one of the hardest genres to review, because it is such a personal Medium, that being said I met say Land’s End is an exceptional collection.



Mazur writes with a deep emotional range and social scope that is evident throughout this book.  She meets beautifully crafted elegies with stories from her life, from those of her family and friends, in such a way that the lines draw you in, and paint a vivid picture.  Her poetry often conjures memories of poets who have been long buried.  Land’s End is part memoir, part remembrance, and part rich remembrance of those gone before.  Mazur reminds her readers of the importance of absorbing the loss, and living.



This book shows gone well Mazur connects to the world around her, and in sharing her insights she helps her readers to do the same.


I give Land’s End five out of five stars!



Happy Reading!
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This is an interesting selection of poetry by Mazur.  Her poems can transport the reader to various slices of life presented.  I received a copy of this book for my unbiased review.
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A nice collection of poems, some new and some previous works, written in a calm way that is sometimes soothing and sometimes unsettling. Personally I prefer a bit more energy or emotion or fire when I read poetry, but while this wasn't really my cup of tea I can appreciate Mazur's talent and skill.
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This collection did not impress me.
First of all, there was no distinguishable writing style of the author. The poems are written so differently that after finishing the book I still will not be able to recognize the author or describe what her style is. 
Secondly, the poems themselves were too prose like - they were telling a direct story with no rhyme (not all the cases, but I am referring to the overall feeling). There were a lot of poems that just read like a short story and this is not something you want to receive from a poetry collection. You want depth, you want to think and analyze, you want to discuss. You also want to get beautiful language, rhythm, and flow of the words. 
I cannot say anything particularly bad - maybe this is just my taste. Unfortunately, I also cannot say anything particularly good. 
I will not remember this collection - it just passed by for me. Maybe for someone, this will be a great book and an enjoyment to read. I just found it a bit boring and plain.
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This collection reminded me quite a lot of the classic 20th century academic poets.  It's a fine collection but I wasn't really pulled into any of the poems.  To be honest, I just found it all a little dull.  It's definitely an improvement over the popular Instagram lite poetry of the moment, but I would have preferred a lot more emotion or depth.
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I received a review copy of Gail Mazur’s upcoming new book, “Land’s End: New and Selected  Poems” from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.  I would give this collection 4+ stars.

First, let me say that I have always admired Mazur’s work having read one of her previous collections and some of her other poems in literary magazines throughout the years. The fact that she is published by University of Chicago, whose Phoenix Poets series ranks among the best in publishing contemporary poetry in my opinion, also attests to the long, sustained excellence she has enjoyed over 40+ years. 

The 30+ pages of new poems, along with a generous sampling from her other works, allows the reader ample opportunity to see the breadth of her work. Poetic friends like Allen Dugan and Stanley Kunitz are a presence over many years.  Descriptions of beaches and gardens contrast with serious aesthetic concerns like war and social justice in these poems in a style that is both sensuously descriptive and plain spoken but powerful.

In her new poems, there is a sense of time passing but a fierce resistance to treacly sentimentality. In the title poem, “At Land’s End  “ she writes, “An old friend, a neighbor, stumbling, Has lost her/way on the sands./There’s always tomorrow. /There’s always something left to lose. Something /here is blowing bubbles/ Something’s forever burrowing.”  The most riveting new poem catalogues the long estrangement from her sister contrasted with the solidarity she felt being among other women one evening in art gallery {“Sisters! I cried, and only one of them turned away (I’d so often failed her, my sister, in undutiful affection. Why? What was duty’s relationship to affection?)”} only to write later in the poem, “only she who’d turned her back, her silence I kept hearing, unforgiving silence we’d passed back and forth mindlessly all the years of our lives—“

The rest of the poems allow Mazur to pick the ones that reflect her poetic interests (family history, literature, politics, religion and living on the coast of New England) and also the ones that best represent her poetic craft. She chooses wisely, but some longer poems are digressive and perhaps a bit too inside for the reader to envelope herself within the poem. Stricter editing would have created a more propulsive and suspenseful narrative for these long poetic lines written in free verse. As a result, it would be hard for a reader to memorize a particular poem, which I still believe is an essential quality in the best poetry so that, like prayer, we can recite it to strengthen ourselves in difficult and challenging situations.  That said, I was still honored to spend several hours in the company of Mazur’s art.
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Land's End was a great collection of poetry. The use of line breaks, I thought was brilliant, and each poem differed in its structure. The poems conveyed the author's feelings and thoroughly described the subjects. Although I rarely read poetry, I would definitely recommend this book.

I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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