Untitled Country Review (ISSN 2152-7903), published quarterly during 2010-2013, features poetry, book reviews, photography, and short works of non-fiction. Thank you for visiting.

Issue 5: Review - Rose Hunter

Rose Hunter. 2010. To The River. 96 pages. Artistically Declined Press; ISBN # 978-1450724654

Rose Hunter’s bristling travelogue is a delight. Her poems are dynamic, authentic vignettes that contain elements of cinema, still photography and stage. Her selection of vivid detail is unerring, her ear for dialogue impeccable – in just a few deft strokes she creates a vivid, concrete urban world (these are definitely urban tales) anywhere in the world – anywhere: Sydney, Acapulco, Vienna, San Francisco or one of a dozen other cities. Hunter’s poem-vignettes culminate in punch lines that are by turns devastating or ineffably tender. Their protagonists are mostly human, but occasionally they are animals (a dead dog, a dead chick) or objects (empty milk crates, a shredded tire, a red cabbage dissected) that are infused with meaning by Hunter’s treatment and, frankly, stick to your heart. The earlier sections of To The River feature a people-watching, place-watching, object-watching narrator, relatively detached from the urban microcosms she describes and analyzes for the reader. In the last part, 'Puerto Vallarta', we are invited into the narrator’s own emotional landscape as she details her experience of a turbulent romantic relationship. The themes of domestic violence and alcohol abuse, which run more lightly under the surface of the earlier sections, emerge strongly here, coupled with a potent depiction of the narrator’s wrenching attachment to her tormenter. This collection is well worth the read. 

--Nic Sebastian

Click here for a link to an audio recording of the title poem “To the River” read by Nic Sebastian of Whale Sound.

To the River 

Who's to say it did not
die of heartbreak
in a cardboard box
outside the school?
Sudden rain is turning
the cracked sidewalk
tiles and potholed street
into a kind of Thames
down which the creature
is being borne
with neither lily nor
letter in its barge
a dirty sock its coverlet
its pillow a Nescafe lid
and some seeds, and
when it comes to a stop
there is no one lined up
a marble stair
tier over tier
to see the feathers flattened
around the eye
the brown-gold fur
the folded wings.

--Rose Hunter

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