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100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Roots Grew Wild by Erica Hoffmeister

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Erica Hoffmeister’s first collection of prose poetry, Roots Grew Wild, manages to achieve what most other themed chapbooks fail to do: tell a complete story arc with lucid imagery and unforced pathos. What is particularly effective is the rhythm of her phrases. While one can fault any poet for verbose language, Hoffmeister’s cadences flow off the page like unspooled ribbon. Thematically, the collection gracefully navigates “hid[ing] from the things we were afraid of” and “discover[ing] the beauty of [saying] goodbye” to painful aspects of upbringing, but also champions the act of becoming—an act that no axe can chop down.

Sean Woodard