Reviews

Reviews for The Better Monsters

“Dutt blesses us with wings that take us to soaring heights from where we see the world as the gods do from heaven. The poems in The Better Monsters teach us how humanity is its own greatest threat but also its greatest salvation. Dutt’s world is one of greater and lesser evils, where the only virtue is the beauty that her language provides. Yes, perhaps her poetry is our best chance to escape our everyday monsters, our monsters within.” Darrel Alejandro Holnes – Pushcart Prize nominated poet, Arts Faculty, New York University, United Nations Consultant

 

“In this gripping first collection, Dutt evokes innocence within and despite the cruel enigma of inevitable arrival. She masterfully connotes this ironic centre – the empty solace of truth telling: ‘so fast they left us/to get there.’ ”
Hal Niedzviecki – author 
of The Archaeologists, founder and publisher of Broken Pencil Magazine

“Fierce and finely crafted, The Better Monsters distils life’s strangeness in poems that bridge the gap between warning and augury. A tour-de-force from one of Canada’s most promising writers.” Jim Johnstone – author of The Chemical Life 

 
“A fine collection of poems…straddle both a politically informed and nostalgically personal perspective…both counteracts the danger of desensitization and inserts a lyrical voice. Dutt cuts out, cuts up and leaves scars throughout her writing…syntactically disintegrates a moment of violence…to poetically convey the force of extremity.”
Klara du Plessis – Broken Pencil Magazine, review of PTSD south beach


PTSD south beach stood out…with its own singular brilliance.” Phantom Books –  2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize, Finalist


Other Reviews:

PTSD south beach‬ published by Grey Borders Books
2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize, Finalist

A finalist for the 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize, Puneet Dutt’s is a fine collection of poems, coherently selected to straddle both a politically informed and nostalgically personal perspective.

As the post-traumatic stress disorder of the title would suggest, PTSD south beach projects organized violence, war, as a given, but then filters it through the harrowing experience of the individual.

An immediate positioning of the first person in relation to combat, the chapbook’s first poem “what do i know of war?” introduces a climate of omnipresent aggression; no one is safe; a person can innocently leave home in the morning to end up in “a blue body bag.” In a world of guns, drones, forces, troops, military, screams, fighting… the insistence on measuring extremity through the personal both counteracts the danger of desensitization and inserts a lyrical voice into the poems. In “coordinates,” a poem about separation, the distance between locations is quantified through “how far / from daughter / from mother / from herself she will be / from me.” The sad irony is, of course, that although “there is always war,” “no one ever” wants to be affected by it.

A significant formal choice, Dutt cuts out, cuts up and leaves scars throughout her writing. For example, she insinuates a political agenda, but doesn’t articulate a stance, rather expecting the reader to interpret the innuendo of blanks: “blogs read: Washington’s Uneasy Partnership With Tehran / or _______” Similarly, she syntactically disintegrates a moment of violence: “scarring the seams of our backs / ask / can we this our own sun give.” Through excision and confusion, Dutt is able to poetically convey the force of extremity.

(Klara du Plessis) Broken Pencil Magazine, Issue 74, Friday, February 17th, 2017. http://www.brokenpencil.com/news/zine-review-ptsd-south-beach

PTSD south beach stood out of the crowd with its own singular brilliance” – Ryann Stevenson, Chapbook Series Editor (Phantom Books)

#‎BrinkLegislation‬ published by @MolotovLitZine
Winner of the Flash Future Fiction Contest (4th place)
“So, what’s hot today? In the mood for…strange? Give this one a try. It’s lyrical, shocking, and just a bit too close…for comfort. A 2015 Worth a Read.” – Stephen Vramey, Author of Glass Animals (Pure Slush Books)
“Bleakly beautiful.”
Sang Kim, Author (A Dream Called Laundry, Ballad of a Karaoke Cowboy, and Woody Allen Ate My Kimchi)
“Brains, Brains, Brains” Published by @ApexMag
It’s a very cool little poem, clearly aware of tropes and prepared to flirt with them before twisting to the zombie POV. The imploring insistence of ‘we’re not the bad guys.’ Some beautiful use of language.”
J. Michael Melican, Author/Blogger

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