Literature and art form the of the Turtle Point list, whether means ambitious novels and verse, with their necessary accompaniments: essays, journals, memoirs, letters criticism. It's not surprising then one of [Jonathan D. Rabinowitz]'s recent central is a bracing book of poems titled In House by Howard Altaian, a writer to me, though his verse has been lished in many different journals, both large and small. I'm not the type who likes to one writer to another, but when I read Altaian's poems, I was struck by fact that he seemed to be a lovely and quite compatible mixture of Theodore Roethke and Howard Moss - because of the preponderance of themes and Moss because of the cate wordplay.For Moss, the central element is language above all else, and how it can fashion a vision of the poet's two favorite subjects - nature and art. In an interview I did with Moss back in the 1980s for The American Poetry Review, he used two of his poems, "Crossing the Park" and "Painting a Wave" as examples of how he conceived of a poem. What he had to say seems fully applicable to how Altman constructs his work.Take the title of Altman's book. Like Roethke's first title, the house referred to is both the book that the reader holds in his hands, as well as the poet himself, who has confessed his sins and secrets in his work. But for Altman, the poems are also bits of constructed material, the rooms and vistas of this "house" - this interior terrain - all of which, when taken together, add up to a self-portrait.
'The True POISON: Art or Life?' Robert Leiter Jewish Exponent; May 20, 2010; 228, 8; Docstoc pg. 33 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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