By Nin Andrews
26 pp. Kent: The Kent State University Press
Nin Andrew’s beautiful little collection of poems, Any Kind of Excuse, is the third chapbook in the Wick Poetry Series. The entire chapbook is a series of poems narrated by a young girl growing up on a Southern farm.Andrews’ narrator’s voice is clear and unwavering, innocent yet observant. This landscape she has created is populated with farm-hands named Jimmy, a rooster that won’t stop crowing, and a grandmother who predicts deaths.
One unique trait of these poems is how the titles act as the first line of the poem, bleeding down into the work. For example, the poem “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” begins, “Grandma always said.” These poems really play with the readers expectations of title and poem. Colloquialisms and strange turns of phrase are carefully placed throughout the work to give authenticity to the setting, although they bordered on cliche at times. One of my favorites is the line “I never could get rid of that awful sweetness” found in the poem “Awful Sweet.”
I would recommend Any Kind of Excuse as a great example of how poems can function together as a series in a complete collection.
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