Book Report: Winnowing Out Our Souls by Jane Hoogestraat (2007)

I picked this chapbook up on the Local Interest shelf in Borders here in Springfield, hoping to find a collection of poems about the Ozarks. However, Hoogestraat is not of the Ozarks, she merely teaches college English in the Ozarks, no doubt to her disappointment. The collection of poems, then, is a standard slot of the Important Lessons modern poetin’ professors want to lay on their students. In a turn of good luck on her part, she wound up in Springfield, so she got to write a poem about a lynching 104 years ago that has Great Implications Today about the inherent oppressiveness of Springfield residents even today. A toothless bearded man makes an appearance in another poem.

Not my bag, really. Nothing in it that touched me or made much of an impression on me. I’m kinda sorry I bought the book and am really sorry I paid full price for it. Back in the olden days, chapbooks were only $3. You know, cheap books.

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