A Circus of Poems
By Stephanie Lenox
Airlie Press, $15.00, 80 pages
In the first section of Congress of Strange People, Stephanie Lenox gives us a glimpse into childhood, slowly exploring the facets of the different relationships that make up our young years: mother-daughter, parent-marriage, sibling-sibling. The poems weave in and out, presenting us with images of a shorn doll’s head, Hawaii, a deck of cards. The next two sections are a parade of the strange, starting with tales of people who have made it into books like the Guinness Book of World Records and ending with a more personal exhibition of strange ego.
This collection of poems is a testament to everyday life and the strangeness of it all. It takes a little while to get into, but each poem is a step and each step takes the reader further into the voice and rhythm of the poetry. The majority of the book is written in first person as Lenox slips in and out of the different stories and lives of real people. The last section of the book particularly resonates; it’s more personal and intimate, and she continues in first person, but this time she’s seemingly speaking as herself, bringing us closer. Definitely worth reading.
Reviewed by Nicole Green