Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Deep gratitude to Harbor Review, editor Allison Blevins and reviewer Jeanna Paden for this new review of WITNESS IN THE CONVEX MIRROR. You can go HERE for entire review but here's an excerpt:

In poems like “Email to a Young Poet of Color,” “The Now of Heaven,” and “Eco Echo,” Tabios doesn’t shy away from blunt reactions to the political and environmental struggles we face. She writes, “As if the ill-educated parent / will not bear ill-educated children. As if billionaires would / still contribute to charities without tax-deductions.” The collection is strikingly frank. “The Optimists Ciphertext” quips, “Clarity, as lives of quiet / desperation imply, is untrustworthy.” Readers follow the speaker as she searches for something more reliable than clarity. The poems focus in and out on current culture from a precise but unforgiving angle.  
Overall, the collection reads like a social proclamation, one many will champion, though others might read as deliberately deadpan. Fans of Ashbery’s Portrait will likely enjoy the echoes of his work paired with Tabios’s take on the vantage of the convex mirror. In short, Witness in the Convex Mirror offers a biographical approach to poetry from a successful and well-published poet. 
By the way, WITNESS IN THE CONVEX MIRROR is available through this very worthwhile fundraiser at Brew & Forge. Go HERE to get a copy while supporting a great cause!

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