One of my purposes with carp(e) libris reviews has been to help you as a reader stretch out and discover literature you otherwise may not have found. I can’t ask you to try something out of the ordinary if I’m not willing to do it myself. For me, this reach is poetry - something I’ve always known I should grasp for, that it would fulfill a reading need of my own. And I have begun to search out poets to share here, in an effort to expand the horizons of my own bookshelf, along with yours.

Voice of Ice did something for me I cannot quite explain. So often with the craft of writing, pain is beauty. Voice of Ice by Alta Ifland is the perfect example. I can only imagine the poet being stopped by her own words as she wrote, just to weep. Alta Ifland is originally from Eastern Europe, and her feelings of being stuck between two worlds which are both and neither her own, is transcribed into her poetry.

Ifland’s poems hover in a dreamlike state, and I felt as though reading her words, I was reading my own half thoughts I’ve never dared express aloud. She’s made a beauty of what we have all struggled to understand about ourselves, trying to figure out where we fit into this very imperfect world. Her words are so personal that I hesitate to share with you how they touched me because if you read it (as I hope you do), you may learn too much about who I am. That, as I am learning, is good poetry.

Not only is this a stunning work to read, it is wonderful to hold and look at. The care with which Les Figues Press put the book together is apparent. It’s slender and a little weighty with a glossy cover and a beautiful work of art on the back. Danielle Adair has done the artwork for each book in the TrenchArt series of which Ifland’s is a part. I don’t always talk about the appearance of books, but I’ve noticed that independent presses have an artistic way of putting together a book that I appreciate. This one gets an A from me!

(Later Note: Alright, alright. P.J. Grath is correct - in the comments she mentions I’ve really raved about this book. This one really deserves the Goldfish Award, so I’ve come back and bestowed it upon this very worthy book. It’s been making me itch that I didn’t put it there in the first place. Carry on, dear readers.)

Now that I’ve got you wishing you could have your own copy, I do have one here for a giveaway. As always, subscribers are automatically entered into this and all future giveaways. Or you may leave a comment telling me what intrigues you about this book. Posting a link to this giveaway on your blog enters you as well. Do all three, and you have three entries. I’ll randomly choose a winner on April 5, 2008, at 12noon EST.


  1. Poetry for the breath of the soul to get one through the skills of everyday living with a positive attitude. Best of luck toa ll who enter. Thank You!!!!!

  2. As much as I dislike sad stuff (for I dislike crying), there are times when a good cry is warranted.

  3. Timothy Sternberg

    It sounds different from my usual reading list

  4. Frances Watson

    looks like a good read

  5. This book intrigues me because I’ve never really read that much poetry (except Bob Dylan but I’m more into his music than his poetry). The description you gave made me want to read this.

  6. ty 4 the contest!

  7. good read

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