Review by Alan Catlin: Nothing and Too Much to Talk About by Nancy Patrice Davenport

review first published in, Issue No. 37, Winter 2024


Nancy Patrice Davenport, Nothing and Too Much to Talk About, Roadside Press,  2023, 86 pages, $15-

There is a lot of smoking , all sorts of substances, chilling and communing with cats in Nancy Patrice Davenport’s latest book. I guess it should be expected from a poet whose previous work includes a book called, Smoking in Mom’s Garage. All of which is cool. Davenport describes herself as, presumably echoing a child’s observation, “a cool mom.” And she is. Her poems are easily relatable, unique in that they have zero punctuation, yet she manages to make that so organic to her style, you don’t notice until well into the book. And you never miss it, because the lines fit together perfectly. As she says of her work,


“I break open
rigid genre

push into revealing new selves

strip myself
to the bones

consider the power
of a self that’s been
scraped clean”
(from “Monday Morning Mars in Capricorn”)

And it works.

As Davenport observes, “life is a soap opera/not a sitcom”

—Alan Catlin, author of Bar Guide for the Seriously Deranged and many others

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