REVIEW: Maura Way’s Another Bungalow (Press 53)

I’ve never been much of a poet, so I spend the vast majority of my time reading fiction. Don’t get me wrong. I love poetry. When done well, it provides us with an other-worldly form of communication. It channels human complexity through the lens of simplicity. But, for me, there’s just a level of comfort in knowing I can read a novel for enjoyment, for sport, and for study all in one, neat package. So I usually play it safe and stick to what I know.

Then I read an advanced copy of Maura Way’s debut chapbook, Another Bungalow (Press 53), and I remembered how much joy a truly excellent poem can bring.

Way’s poems take the comedic snippets of experience we all share and highlight the serious elements in all of them…often with the deadpan ease of a stand-up comic. Gritty and fearless, with zero pomp, beautiful language, and brilliant wordplay. There’s just so much in Another Bungalow that will resonate with the average reader; readers like me, who continually mine for humor among the rubble and who search for the extraordinary within the ordinary. It’s an approach that is reflected in every one of Way’s poems, who coincidentally seems to possess a superhuman ability to uncover truth through daily observation and self reflection.

Whether or not you’ve ever surrendered your bite plate to the briny deep, or catapulted the guts of a cantaloupe into an azalea bush, or longed for Amy Sedaris to make you a grilled cheese; whether your choice reading material is Proust or The New York Times or the Sunday freaking comics–I can guarantee you will have no trouble relating to and enjoying the poetry in Maura Way’s Another Bungalow.  

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