Like the title of her first book Union!
, poet Ish Klein's name deserves to be followed by an exclamation point. Make that three of them. --Poetry Flash
The poems throughout this collection are unpredictable and have the ability to travel great distances. The speaker is often on some sort of adventure, and the reader is a fellow traveler as he or she follows the speaker to an unknown destination, whether it is running into a fight in "I'm Amazing, I'm a Fireman" or traveling through ducts filled with skeletons to deliver a message to the White House in "The Stuff of Gov't." The adventure and exploration motifs are even reflected in the section titles: "Amid Ocean," "Dry Land," "Hard Earth," and "Up and Away!" In "In Memory of a Man," the speaker names the road the "nomad home" and states, "I have been seeing people hit the road all my life. / It reminds me that I am meant to wander. Wanting." The speaker will wander in a sort of self-imposed exile, always moving, never settling down. The exploration not just that of physical environments, but always of the interior, a constant exploration of the self. --Bookslut
Klein's experiment is a socialistic one. Her book can't be pigeonholed into any one aesthetic or school. Nor does the reader get an immediate sense of Klein's influences--or, at least, not her contemporary influences. However, with a deranged fervor coloring every page and, beyond that, a reckless sense of compassion, Klein resembles an updated Whitman in the best possible ways. --Gently Read Literature
About the Author
Ish Klein is poet and self-taught film and puppet maker. She is an alumna of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers Workshop for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and her films have played at festivals around the world. Her first book, Union!
, was published in February, 2009 by Canarium Books, which will also publish another of her books in February, 2012. She lives in Philadelphia.