Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

What Are You Recommending, Joel Brouwer?


NBCC members and finalists and winners of our book award were eligible to vote in the winter edition of the NBCC’s Good Reads. Poet and critic Joel Brouwer voted for Sandra McPherson’s volume, “Expectation Days.” Here he explains why:

Sandra McPherson’s new collection of poems takes on subjects—terminal illness, 9/11, widowhood, Japanese atomic bomb survivors, etc.—which in the hands of a less mature writer would almost guarantee mawkish results, but which McPherson treats with a perfectly calibrated blend of moral gravity and formal exuberance. Brilliant work from a poet in her prime.

Joel Brouwer is the author of two books of poems, Exactly What Happened (Purdue University Press, 1999) and Centuries (Four Way Books, 2003). He teaches at the University of Alabama.