Another review of Descent & Other Poems


A review of Timothy Ogene’s book of poems appears in Glasgow Review of Books that speaks of the possibilities in the title, the questions, and difficulty in the condition of being as the other, from away, as some would say. There is a certain retrospect found in the state of looking forward, perhaps while looking backward we find our truth by disambiguation.

Alison Graham’s review is welcome as a sensitive look at the language and dynamics in these poems.

FROM MECHANISMS, TOWARDS THE HUMAN BODY: ALISON GRAHAM REVIEWS TIMOTHY OGENE’S ‘DESCENT & OTHER POEMS’

Published in 2016, Descent & Other Poems was included on Australian Book Review’s 2016 Books of the Year list, as well as gaining an honorable mention in the 2017 Glenn Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

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Halloween news, treats but no tricks


Probably the biggest news is our own Stuart Kestenbaum is the new Maine Poet Laureate. His titles continue to be popular. This and other news can be found on the new Website.

Other news includes a new review for No Passing Zone also reviewed in the American Book Review, along with Wars Don’t Happen Anymore and links to that review, as well as poems appearing in journals, are on the Website page. Take a look at the new Website with new navigation features like drop-down menus, pages for author’s info and books, and of course free shipping in the US when you order from the Website. In the past 16 months, twelve new titles have been added to the list, so check out the quality work.

Lots of new books from 2015 & 2016: check the site for the latest titles

The Vagabond's Book Shelf by Dawn Potter

The Vagabond’s Book Shelf by Dawn Potter

F.Fields cover grab

Richard Kostelanetz

Wars Don't happen Anymore by Sarah White

Wars Don’t happen Anymore by Sarah White

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Descent & Other Poems

The Conversation by Dawn Potter

The Conversation by Dawn Potter

A passing

A Passing by Joan Siegel

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Middle of the Night

Middle of the Night prose & poetry by HC Hsu

Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin

Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin Cover photo by Rosamond Orford

Yellow Horses by Martin Steingesser

Yellow Horses by Martin Steingesser

The Congress of Human Oddities by Teresa Carson

The Congress of Human Oddities by Teresa Carson

The World Disguised as This One by Mimi White

The World Disguised as This One by Mimi White

Descent & Other Poems by Timothy Ogene


Timothy Ogene,Descent & Other Poems

Timothy Ogene was born in Nigeria, but has since lived in Liberia, Germany, the US, and the UK. His poems and stories have appeared in Numero Cinq, One Throne Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, T he Missing Slate, Stirring, Kin Poetry Journal, Mad Swirl, Blue Rock Review, aaduna, and other places. He holds a first degree in English and History from St. Edward’s University, and a Master of Studies in World Literatures in English from the University of Oxford.

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Timothy Ogene’s poems are writings of witness, displacement, and beauty. Instead of a home address there are poems as address, at once exquisitely gentle and acute. The sharpness of the poems’ blades—whether literal, like the blades that peel cassavas and leave the speaker’s arms scarred, or deeper injuries of trauma and loss—sits alongside their subtlety and tenderness. These are poems of deep attentiveness to the smallest encounters, and to the largest questions of love, doubt, solitude and migration. Their crafting reveals Ogene’s deep reading, both of poetry and of the and landscapes the poems explore. How do poems that bear witness to violence, loss and displacement open so gently to the reader? This paradox is one of many in these wise, important poems. I am reminded of Hélène Cixous’s description of Paul Celan’s poetry as ‘writing that speaks of and through disaster such that disaster and desert become author or spring’. Where trees hold ‘time in absent leaves’, these poems mourn roots but refrain from ‘easy paths’, offering, instead, the force and grace of a numinous poetics.

—Felicity Plunkett

Where does he come from, Timothy Ogene? From Nigeria, from even poorer Liberia, from Texas, from Oxford, now Boston. But look for him in the future, where he will be writing great books. Look for him in the present, too, in this satisfying, wonderful book—already he can do everything—he makes music, his figurative language is rare in that it goes deep, is never arbitrary, there is a care for especially the poor people and objects of this world, he remains hidden behind his language yet clear, which is to say his ego does not control the writing, something else does—a desire to lead us gently to noticing what we have never seen before. Not just noticing, experiencing. Suddenly an empty bench comes to the forefront of our sight, from the “remains” of fog. He can personify without anthropomorphizing, maybe because he loves the world without needing to hold on to any aspect of it. He is unusually free yet aware of the limitations imposed on us politically and yes by language itself.

—Ruth Lepson