Review: Awkward Grace by Mark Tulin

Amethyst Review

Awkward GraceAwkward Grace by Mark Tulin, 43pp Kelsay Books. Review by Sarah Law

There is absolutely a tangible sense of grace in the twenty-seven poems in this latest pamphlet (or chapbook) by regular Amethyst Review contributor Mark Tulin. While reading them, I found many sensitively presented scenes, images, voices and details, all given the sort of luminous resonance that poetic attention can provide. At the same time, I’ve been puzzling over the ‘awkward’ designation in this pamphlet’s thought-provoking title. How can grace be awkward? At first glance, the term seems something of an oxymoron. Grace more generally implies a sort of blessed ease, a moment of gift and insight rather than one of mismatched clumsiness or social embarrassment. But reading on, I started to gain further insights into Tulin’s choice of title. Tulin’s professional background is as a therapist, and he admits in ‘Therapist’s Disease’ that he is inclined…

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