cover image CTE BLANCH


Martha Serpas, . . New Issues/Western Michigan Univ., $22 (76pp) ISBN 978-1-930974-17-3

In his foreword, Harold Bloom describes Serpas as "in a highly original way, a Catholic devotional poet from Louisiana [who has] perfected, this, her first book, across fifteen years," and finds that "a double handful of these [40 plus] poems may achieve permanence." Serpas is from Galliano, La., and teaches at the University of Tampa; her speaker is unflinching in looking into the contemporary quandaries facing her faith: "She/ walks to the clinic herself,/ the heel of her palm pressed to her stomach./ Later, she repeats the word,/ fetus, a chant, a vein,/ another part that cannot be saved."