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.