The Amnesiac’s Birthday by Terri Adamczyk (Cemetery Dance, 2021) turns loss into mesmerizing poetry. From The stillborn spirit: …Only laid / like Snow White’s brother in a coffin / made of glass to / show the way perfection born / without its life, is not unloved. Titles become part of verse, from The Amnesiac’s Birthday: began when the world was no more than its shape and the language / of substance like cut flowers came without roots to the tongue. Read these poems out loud, and allow transformation to surface.

Android Girl and Other Sentient Speculations by Michael H. Hanson (Three Ravens Publishing, 2020) tells stories through the poetic lens of science fictional fantasies. From Android Girl II: Perfect woman who shows no fear / a heart of steel blest to not feel / with carbon fiber strands for hair. Some poems honor departed creatives, from Beamed Up (for Leonard Nimoy): Your soul has just now reached warp speed / to starry sleep as we all weep / honoring your humanist creed. Hanson’s collection has something for every reader.
Cradle of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger (Rooster Republic Press, 2020) gives discerning voice to the 1300’s Black Plague. From Origin: I cross boundaries, / continents will not contain me — / status, class, religion disappear. These captivating poems of a past epidemic, as it made its way through royalty and every day people, carries an undertone of recognition this year. In the end, the past hope reflects the present, from Underwater Snow: When this is all over, / let’s go away, you and I / across the ocean to new adventures. Let’s do that…

Linda D. Addison, five-time recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®, the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award and SFPA Grand Master.