Reviews > Reviews of At the Threshold of Alchemy

"Powerful, wonderful, thought-provoking, raw, visceral, tender and pure. Absolutely golden." 
—Cheryl Lynn Bradley, Tarot Canada          link to full review

"Poems such as these, and there are plenty in this book—John Amen’s third—keep resounding in the mind the way great poetry does...."    
—Ricardo Nirenberg, Offcourse          link to full review

"Let’s get this straight: John Amen...can do no wrong."
—B.L. Kennedy, Medusa's Kitchen          link to full review

"As the title conveys...At the Threshold of Alchemy is a glorious combination of voices, passions, and raw memories."
—Megan Roth Casella, Rose and Thorn          link to full review

"His surrealism is Dali in words, Picasso in thoughts wrought in short, raw poems."
Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

"At the Threshold of Alchemy is a source of light for one who would like to consider himself a peer in the pursuit of the literary craft."         
—Joseph Crespo, JMWW         
link to full review

"...his new collection is spellbinding."
—Emmanuel Sigauke, Wealth of Ideas          link to full review

"Mr. Amen's language is crisp, his observations keen...each phrase is crafted for inspection, contemplation. Sometimes he just falls under the spell of language, slips into the dream-water of surrealism - which is another sort of alchemy."
—Phil Wagner, The Iconoclast

"Amen, at his best, is a poet of process—he is working towards revelation. And he happens to be gracious enough to throw a rope behind so that we, the reader, can follow along."
—Ghoti Magazine     link to full review

"...teetering between the mythic and the real...energetic and poignant...."
—Joshua Gage, Star*Line

"Great poetry doesn't rot on the dusty shelf of a gold-plated decrescendo. It demands agonic play. It agitates and provokes in order to stir play and invention. At the Threshold of Alchemy is our spur. We read, play and write."
—Daniel Y. Harris, Istanbul Literary Review     link to full review

"Vivid images and situations permeate these pages, and Amen is a poet prepared to comment on the taboo or the elephant in the room."
Savvy Verse & Wit, Serena Agusto-Cox     link to full review

"The book is powerful with strong language, surreal imagery, and at the same time, at many points tender and loving. I recommend it highly."
—Leonard J. Cirino, Home Planet News

"...a tour de force of poetic imagination and archetypal imagery clothed in personal symbolism."
—Scott Owens, Wild Goose Poetry Review     link to full review

"...the book is as densely packed as any suitcase made to carry centuries of history and mythology on so many levels
—personal, familial and cultural."
—Beth Phillips Brown, Philadelphia Poets

"This is how true poetry works."
—Paul Sohar, Chiron Review

"...reading this collection is such a delight."
—Wynn Yarbrough, Gently Read Literature     link to full review

"The poems that make up this fine collection are metaphorically daring, lyrical, and lush. Neither word nor image is wasted here."
—Willie James King, Rattle     link to full review