Howard Altmann writes, for the most part, in the third person and sometimes the impact of his perspective causes a sense of distance. There is often a surprise ending that turns the meaning of his poems in satisfying ways. When the writer allows himself to come closer to his subject matter emotionally, with sensitivity and richly-wrought images, his poetry holds strength and beauty.
In This House
Howard Altmann writes an amalgamation of poems, blending musings on relationships, loneliness, nature, aging, time, and faith. He is strongest when writing about relationships: reserved, delicate, implied, lyrical, and beautiful. Some of his poems, while full of clear images, take work to discern, and occasionally his poetry feels contrived and stiff. Yet other poems, such as “Shoes,” a work about viewing an exhibit of remnants of the Holocaust with his father, walk hand in hand with the reader through unfolding openness and great tenderness.
Ellie Barbarash is a writer, musician, and disability activist living in Philadelphia. Her non-fiction has been published in Bridges. Ordained as a Kohenet, she is working on producing an anthology, Clearing the Spring, Sweetening the Waters: A Renewed Call to Torah.
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