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Reviews of Christening the Dancer
Christening the Dancer is just the type of book I've been anticipating for years now, yet something I expected not to see for a long time to come." ­Ace Boggess, The Adirondack Review - Read full review
"This slender volume has packed the loudest voice, and biggest punch, for me, as a book reviewer for the beginning quarter of 2003...I discovered fresh innovative original avenue of thought, a new twist along the poetic ribbon-highway." Joyce Metzger, J. Metzger Poetry Reviews
"John Amen is...unflinching as he propels us into a visceral exploration of life, death, and what falls between...The best poetry tears through the toughest defenses to find its target, and Amen delivers with verse that resonates long after the book is closed." ­Kimbra Martin, Small Spiral Notebook - Read full review
"Images in Charlottean John Amen's first collection of poems, Christening the Dancer, explode with surprise." ­Dannye Romine Powell, The Charlotte Observer
"Mr. Amen, in short, is a phrase maker and his work is genuine, stirring, and daringly open. He writes about relationshipsformer lovers, would-be lovers, friends and familyand the turmoil of the self." Gary Soto, Review at
"The author's lean and hungry lines turn and turn against each other like gears in well-worn clockwork. The precisely figurative treatments of place and time easily evoke personal responses." Bill Wesse, Main Street Rag
"More than just a random collection of poems, Christening the Dancer signals the birth of a fresh and inventive writer of meaningful talent." Robert Edward Levin, Adagio Verse Quarterly
"Amen's poetry vividly sears and sizzles the mind." The Chiron Review (#71)
"Christening the Dancer, John Amen's first collection of poems, is an amazingly vivid book and one that revitalizes poetic language in astounding ways." kris t kahn, Sometimes City - Read full review
"Christening the Dancer is a collection worth reading simply because its courageous lines are composed by a generous, and unflinchingly curious poet." Clayton A. Couch, sidereality - Read full review
"Multi-talented Amen takes poetry to the next level...The imagery is exquisite, crystal clear and highly original...Christening the Dancer is an extraordinary collection." Ahn Behrens, Waterfront Journal
"John Amen is a poet to watch." ­Steve Mueske, three candles - Read full review
"If you are looking for a good summer read, small in size and you are willing to introspect, this book would be the one." ­Deepa Kandaswamy, Whimsplace - Read full review
"Other reviewers have spoken of the wildness, the language of a brilliant madman, the bright metaphors that are so seductive to the reader. I can only concur; this is an almost-violent set of words, yet so well assembled that they become a brilliant display of a life." Evely Appelbee, Gin Bender - Read full review
"[Amen] is a true poet...." Robert W. Greene, Offcourse - Read full review
"If you only purchase a single poetry book this year, buy this one." Sara Claytor, The Moonwort Review - Read full review