A review by Piet Bach
2011, Queer Mojo, an imprint of Rebel Satori Press, Bar Harbor, Maine
ISBN: 978-1-60864-045-4 // 127 pgs., paperback, $13.95
Christopher Soden teaches creative writing, and has been writing poetry and theatre criticism for something over three decades. A resident of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, his theatrical resources include two highly regarded opera companies as well as other performance venues. Yet he doesn’t know how to spell Pagliacci, or pfeffernüss, or the difference between its and it’s. This is either a comment on the parlous state of American education today, a failure of his editors at Rebel Satori Press, or a sidelong glimpse of the self-referential world of the MFA programs that seem to be de rigueur if a writer is to be accepted by the modern publishing world. The rule is that if it’s going on paper, especially if you’re a teacher, you get it right. This is why publishers send galley proofs to authors. Poetry cannot be encumbered with grammar or spelling so egregiously incorrect that it stalls the eye and hobbles the imagination. Why lay a garden path unevenly, so that instead of admiring the harmony of the gardener’s design one is forced to watch the footing for fear of breaking an ankle on a loose brick? I was able to navigate approximately a third of this collection before I turned and hobbled back to the mudroom, fearful for my temper if not for my bones.
Those wishing to explore Soden’s garden can go here to order; it is not available at Amazon.