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Woman in Red Anorak by Marc Harshman.

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I admit I looked it up. An anorak is a waterproof, hooded, pull-over jacket, and in British slang it also refers to a person with a strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects. But, don’t worry, Marc Harshman actually is very down-to-earth and seldom throws around terms designed to show how much smarter he is than you. Yes, his poems are challenging, and they do almost always provide a springboard for deeper thoughts, but they are not obscure and laced with difficult references. “I have admired for years Marc Harshman’s poetry for its sanity and its eye on our great teacher, history. In this captivating book, Harshman leads us inside a startling rapid-lens simultaneity of events: wars, environmental annihilations, deaths of elders, loves lost and restored, and mysteriously, strangers’ missives and actions which inspire the poet to declare, ‘I am suspicious of magic and compromise, / and satisfied to simply make room for wonders.’ This is a great gift, of course, as it means these poems are the kind we return to and re-read.  . . . Accompanying the breathtaking invisibles, always, are real and present people and things, beheld in beauty.” – Judith Vollmer. “There are no comforting answers in this sobering, absorbing work, but there is the fierce courage and honesty to ask the questions.” – Lynn Emanuel.

Spokane, Washington: Lynx House Press, 2018. 63 pages. Trade paperback