Another Review at MyShelf.Com

This Space Available
LB Sedlacek

Goats on Mars Press
2020/ ISBN 9798654725974

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard Johnson


Taking a Road Trip in the Time of Covid

Though LB Sedlacek is a force in the poetry world, I don’t want you to think of her book, This Space Available, as poetry. In these times of Covid, I want you to think of it as a journal—very nearly a record of the simple pleasures of her road trip through the South. Perhaps you could even make it a substitute trip for yourself as you stay cozily ensconced in the recommended sheltering you know is best for you.

Readers who don’t believe themselves to be poetry aficionados will love the simple language, the conversational pacing, the way she can make a point without being didactic, as she does in the title poem when she observes that the huge billboards advertising religion she sees along the side of the road in South Carolina. “It must cost a lot to be advertising Jesus,” she says. She does something similar with the cops in Georgia (and, an ever, equal-opportunity poet, the drivers!) and those who sell baby alligators to who- knows- what- fate. She tells the mini stories. The reader gets to feel the way he or she feels about it.

Nevertheless, Sedlacek’s poetic nature is alive everywhere. She is seeing a part of the US with a fresh perspective. And you get it in little living pieces, sometimes recorded with her camera in full-blown color as well as words.

You may decide this slender book is the best trip you could possibly take in this, the summer of 2020. Perhaps you want an assessment in one word. Here it is: “Refreshing.”

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, multi award-winning poet and coauthor of the Celebration Series of Chapbooks with Magdalena Ball.
Reviewed 2020