Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory (Reviewed by Ellen Tanner Marsh)

Available at Amazon

Any Christian surveying the current state of modern poetry could easily become discouraged, given that much of that poetry can only be categorized as nihilistic. At worst, such poems seemingly promote despair and violence-against society, the church, or even against oneself. At best, they consist of self-centered whining and overdramatic emotionalism, completely devoid of spiritual muscle and ethical backbone.

New author Joseph J. Breunig 3rd, in his fine debut collection Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory, takes a fresh stride in the opposite direction, in a poetic compilation that should delight anyone who enjoys reading Christian literature as well as poetry. The book comprises over 100 poems of various lengths, although they generally do not exceed one page. In a slight concession to modern poetic style, some of the stanzas are unrhymed, yet all of them speak to Christian themes, such as faith and its testing, seeking a higher road, the state of grace, error and sin, biblical people and events, and personal redemption through God's word.

The author and his wife

A common thread that runs throughout the majority of the poems is that individuals-- regardless of any mistakes they may have made in the past--can still turn to Christ as their Savior and begin the slow, sometimes painful, but always positive process of redeeming themselves, in developing a new life filled with abundance and spiritual serenity. By reaching for this new and uplifting collection of Christian poems, readers can indeed begin reaching towards God's glory.

--Ellen Tanner Marsh is a NY Times best selling author.


Sylvia Plath's Ariel: The Restored Edition (Review by Diana Manister)


HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-073259-8

2007 edition available on Amazon

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Faber and Faber (April 5, 2007)

ISBN-10: 057123609X

ISBN-13: 978-0571236091


Ariel is Sylvia Plath’s last book. Most of the poems were written in a manic burst during a period of grief and rage over her impending divorce from British poet Ted Hughes, who left her for another woman. She had tried suicide at nineteen and failed; after completing the Ariel poems at thirty, she succeeded.

As her heir and literary executor, Hughes sent the Ariel manuscript off to be published, leaving out some poems she had intended to include and an additional few she had written in her last days. Much controversy ensued: Hughes was accused of everything from censorship to murder. This new facsimile edition of Ariel sets the record straight by replicating Plath’s typed manuscript, along with her drafts and handwritten corrections. This is the book she intended to publish.

Read the rest of the review on


Review excerpt is copyright 2006 by Diana Manister and posted here with permission.


Sylvia Plath Reads Poem "Ariel"



Isaac Sweeney's Interview with Poet Elisabeth Whitehead


(For more information about Elisabeth Whitehead's a pilgrim's traveling kit, email Cosa Nostra.)

Elisabeth Whitehead's chapbook, a pilgrim's traveling kit, was published in 2008 by Cosa Nostra Editions. She is also the co-editor of Greatcoat, and is now selecting pieces for its second edition.

In the following interview, along with talk about her chapbook and Greatcoat, Elisabeth talks about things all writers can relate to, such as style, being unique, teaching, and acceptance.

Ways With Words: The title of your chapbook, a pilgrim’s traveling kit, makes me want to carry it around in my pocket and open it whenever I have to make an important decision. How did you come up with the title?

Elisabeth Whitehead: The title comes from one of the poems in the chapbook, which includes a list of objects necessary for a journey through the particular landscape of these poems: maps, a leather bread pouch, a song book, relics…These poems are threaded with the character of a pilgrim, or a traveler, and I hope that the experience of reading the poems together is as though someone was on a voyage through a northern and more ancient or medieval landscape.

WWW: What inspired you to create a pilgrim’s traveling kit?

EW: I was approached by the poets Mary Hickman and Robert Fernandez, friends and classmates of mine at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, who were starting a chapbook press called Cosa Nostra Editions. They were both familiar with my work and helped decide which poems were to be included in the chapbook. These were poems already written; I didn’t write them with a chapbook in mind. I think Robert and Mary did a beautiful job on all four books that came out in their first publication cycle. Hand bound with letter pressed covers, they handled the work of all their authors with great attention and care.

Read the rest of this interview at Ways With Words.


This interview excerpt, copyright 2009 by Isaac Sweeney, was posted with the interviewer's permission.