SPARE ROOM: Haibun Variations
"Jim Natal's irresistibleSpare Room follows his collection of haibun titled 52 Views. Page by page, Natal extends the range of the haibun, his topics richly contemporary. Each prose passage, eloquently bagging the particulars of this American life, is transmuted by the cool snap of a haiku rooted in universal nature. It is a kind of call and response, a scrupulous call that elicits a poetic amen. Leavened by modesty and good humor, by turns personal and sociopolitical,
Spare Room is also a very good read."
52 Views: The Haibun Variations
"Jim Natal's 52 Views: The Haibun Variations is a record of an interconnected age, of the struggles of everyday life in the context
of family, place, current events, and art. Interspersed with journal entries are short haiku-like poems that reflect and refract the light
of the prose in surprising ways. Reading the pieces in succession, you can feel your mind shifting from prose-mode to poetry-mode.
A successful venture into the form, it's like reading three books at once, at the same time in the moment, in memory, and in reflection. With an informative 'Afterword,' it is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand or write contemporary haibun."
Memory and Rain
"A fine book of deft, deep, sure-handed and big-hearted poems."
"Style is never a matter of word choice or sentence construction; rather it reflects the way in which a writer engages the world about him. Whether in Montaigne, in Chandler, or in Montale, it is that play of an individual mind across the subject, that unique consciousness and voice, that we seek. And this is what we have in Memory and Rain."
Talking Back to the Rocks
"...This is a book of wisdom, its poems the sculpted stones of a life deeply lived and beautifully told."
"...Rich in lovely detail; true to the affairs of the heart."
In the Bee Trees
"In the Bee Trees is a remarkable and powerful collection..."
--David St. John
"...Marvelously elegant, essential poems--melodious, deep, and true."
--Naomi Shihab Nye
Angle of Reflection
"The poems in Angle of Reflection are the work of ten Los Angeles poets at the height of their creative powers and skill. They are sensuous and savvy, and the interaction between inner and outer landscapes is consistently mesmerizing...Rest assured--the lyric poem is alive and well and living in southern California."
"This anthology covers tremendous territory--nature, ecology, politics, identity, the philosophical relationship to place and landscape, and at the most impeccably timed moments, an appropriate whimsy and levity. A unique amalgamation of poets, this is a thoughtful intervention in an ongoing aesthetic heritage yet one that looks forward to new possibilities." --Chris Abani
"Angle of Reflection celebrates the remarkable poetry, longevity (20 years working togehter for some of them), and the depths of the bonds among the members of the group. This anthology is a tribute to the nurture such devotion to purpose provides."
--from the Introduction by David St. John