May 20, 2009

Review by Michael Meyerhofer

by Djelloul Marbrook

Kent State University Press
307 Lowry Hall
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242
ISBN 978-0-87338-987-7
2008, 72 pp., $14.00

Djelloul Marbrook’s first book, Far From Algiers, is the kind of book you want to buy over and over—partly so you can support such a fine “emerging writer,” but mostly just so you can give copies of this humorous, heart-wrenching book as gifts for everyone you know. These are wry, insightful, accessible verses that shine with a lyrical wit often lacking in today’s poetry.

I had the great privilege of seeing Marbrook read at the AWP conference in Chicago. Honestly, I’d never heard of him before that, nor seen his work in journals. As I sat and listened, though, I was immediately floored by one thought: How on earth have I never heard of this guy before? Marbrook’s poems—grandfatherly, mortal, sometimes political but refreshingly free of proselytization—struck such a chord that I bought his book as fast as I could. Now, having just finished it, I’m writing this review at three in the morning because frankly, I don’t think I can sleep until I give just credit where credit is due.

Right away in the first poem, “Climate Control,” we realize Continue reading

Rattle Logo