Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2018
The poems in Betsy Orient Bernfeld’s Eve are strong and varied. This collection of poetry is an engaging and emotional read. It is full of history, fragile and enduring connections, the natural world, and both the soft touch and resilient strength of the feminine. Some of the poems explore the past, others speak of the present moment, and some examine what-if scenarios, both historically and personally. There is a satisfying balance between specific details and the deeper emotional currents. There is hope and loss, tender beauty and heavy tragedy. All against the backdrop of scenes like bright gold aspen leaves “like candles lit” and the “blue green sky to fill my wide blank eyes.” Whether she is analyzing a work of art said to be representative of female sexuality, reviewing evidence in court, bleeding in the wilderness, counting the miles along a beaten path, or building a house with stained glass windows, Betsy Orient Bernfeld has the poet’s ability to make the familiar seem strange and the strange seem familiar.
Rykki Neale, Children’s Librarian
LaBarge Branch Library
Karen Henderson, illus. Lisa Nicholas
Karen Henderson’s Floating is a relaxing and fun story about a family-time tradition. The author happily recalls memories of the sights and sounds of the river and takes the reader along, describing in sweet detail all of her favorite critters and insects. The rhyming lines and cadence give the story a cool and meandering feel, just like floating down a nice, refreshing river.
The illustrations by Lisa Nicholas lend the story a touch of nostalgia, as if each moment were a still-image from a child’s memory, intimate and playful.
Floating is a fun adventure that highlights the magic of time spent out in nature, sharing laughs and splashes with your loved ones!
Angela Wolff, Reference Librarian
Laramie County Library System