Books Magazine

Unopened by Doug Hoekstra

By Pamelascott

"Unopened," an intriguing volume of previously published and unpublished poetry, is Doug Hoekstra's latest and third book. Among its fifty-seven selections, the reader will find poems that rhyme, poems that don't, prose poems, sedokas, and yes, even an obligatory sonnet. Some are personal; some are societal. Some look inward, some look outward. Throughout the reader is invited to connect and reflect. "Unopened" is divided into three selections to allow the works to cross-pollinate and the reader to choose his or her adventure - "On the Page" (themes close to home), "Off the Canvas" (out in to the world), and "Between the Notes" (the space between, the indefinable). Hoekstra's introduction sets the tone for this journey, but the reader sets the course. "Unopened" also features Hoekstra's his original artwork on the front and back covers, taken from a series of collages created to reflect the content of the book. As he says in the afterword, the art and prose both reveal themselves "as a collection of fragments-memory, imagination, anticipation-broken, reassembled, and made whole. "Taken as that entity, "Unopened" is a worthy addition to Hoekstra's body of work, living somewhere between the "five-minute worlds" of his song writing canon and the short and long fiction of his prose writing. "Hoekstra writes in a style that could safely be called eclectic, but that doesn't do his either his music or his literary genius true justice. He is like a quirky art collector, putting together odd bits and ends, and then making them into something with an effect so much more than the mere sum of their collective oddities." (Midwest Book Review)

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[is like a dream / and dreams are like memories / chasing you through your days MEMORY]

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(Independently Published, 5 February 2019, 102 pages, copy from @JKSlitpublicity and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is my first time reading the poet. I hope it won't be my last. Unopened is an excellent collection of poems. I loved the fact the collection has such a broad, diverse range of poems. The poems tackle a range of subject matters. The poems are also written in a range of styles and formats. Sometimes poetry collections that tackle the same themes or use the same styles work but not always. I loved that Unopened was so diverse. You never knew what to expect with every page. I enjoyed every poem in this collection. My favourites were In the Direction of the Slide, Grand Observations, Wistful, Levon and Duck, The Minimum and Double Rainbow.

Unopened Doug Hoekstra

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