Screenshot of review‘s opening paragraph and book cover image at

“The latest title from Lambertville, New Jersey poet, artist and book designer Shanna Compton is (Creature Sounds Fade) (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), a collection of poems predominantly built of single-page lyric narrative sketch-works, as multiple of her poems give the simultaneous impression of quick thought and deep consideration. Her poems move across the page at quite a speed, from a human interior to an exterior and engagement with landscape and eco-concerns, enough that the two seeming-poles become nearly indistinguishable. ‘The picked edges of the birches’ / bitter bark,’ she writes, to open the poem ‘Paper Trees,’ ‘Red-gold admixture / of mind      a fleeting logical thread / she keeps tangling around / her spindle body [.]’ Compton plays with familiar landscapes and phrases fragmented and re-formed, twisting expectations and direction, constantly darting between lines, between trees, in an out of view in simultaneous outreach and retreat. Compton writes through a voice akin to something wild, something feral, one hesitant to step to far towards an encroaching array of human activity. “My love I am a tangled I am choked & salted,” she writes, to open “Shorn Fur,” “My love I am feeling the itch of the buds soon to burst from my skin [.]”

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And the book is 40% off during Black Lawrence Press’s Holiday Sale! Use code HOLIDAY40 at checkout to receive this discount on all in-print titles through December. Link:

First review of (CREATURE SOUNDS FADE)!
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