A Matter of Selection
by Carol Smallwood

Poetic Matrix Press, 2018. ISBN 978-0-998-14698-0.
Reviewed by Mary Jo Doig
Posted on 11/08/2018


I am a memoirist and a quilter whose how-to-write-poetry books are tucked into a corner of my bookcase, rarely used. Their condition well-matches my skills in reviewing poetry. Yet years ago, I fell in love with Smallwood's writing in her fiction novel Lily's Odyssey, and have read her subsequent books of poetry ever since.

As a quilter I turn first to her titles suggesting patchwork. "Sewing by Day," whether you're a quilter or not, will delight you, both with the nuanced words and fascinating structure of starting each new stanza with the second line of the preceding one until you gently return full circle to the poem's first line.

"What Does it Mean?" is a playful exploration of the expression "It is what it is," and presents an up-down-and-up usage of repeating lines that parallel the musing within the words.

"A Multi-Gated Acquisition" took my breath away as Smallwood reveals herself looking at contrasting screens: one with Oprah, the other with the author's heartbeat, which will reveal if she's strong enough for chemo.

I invite you to enter into the exquisite pages of A Matter of Selection and journey through these charming insights into a variety of ordinary events of everyday life.

Carol Smallwood is a National Federation of State Poetry Societies and Franklin-Christoph Poetry Contest Winner. Among her over four dozen books, Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets (Foreword by Molly Peacock) appears on the list of "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers Magazine. Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms was nominated for the Pushcart Prize; others followed. Carol's first chapter of her novel, Lily's Odyssey, is in Best New Writing 2010; Interweavings: Creative Nonfiction (Shanti Arts, 2017). She appears in: Who's Who in the World and Who's Who of American Women. She appears in Contemporary Authors New Revision 282; Wikipedia. Carol has founded humane societies.

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