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by Charmane Cadeau (Brick Books)

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“If only the heart had antennae to tap/out the way to the safest places.” Cadeau’s sophomore poetry collection is, as her name suggests, a little gift. A poet whose hushed phrases read with a fluidity and clarity approaching effortlessness, she instills in each poem in a sense of dark whimsy, a gentle crumbling of those delicate casings known as the “expected.” The poems in Placeholder are a testament to the power of the subtle, the elevation of the quotidian to the poetic: In “Queen Bee,” larvae are “commas anticipating/the next ink string;” the beehive, a “typo.” “Lullaby” evokes the subterranean evils lurking in suburban night. In many ways these poems take place at the threshold, the interim, at the intake of breath before action. Nuanced image and metaphor marry the natural and human, while the use of enjambment resists the stifling possibility of a singular reading. A powerful evocative collection.



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