Danyen Powell

Anvil, the first in the Fair Oaks-based Rattlesnake Press chapbook series, is a lovely piece of work. It features a muted, tasteful cover by Xiaojun Lee, from one of Davis poet Danyen Powell’s drawings; the design and production values bode well for future publications. The poems are austere and deliberate; Powell surely can’t be accused of overwriting. Even the poems that are not directly addressing grief and loss have a restrained, elegiac quality to them. Among my favorites is “Late Night Poker,” where family ghosts gather over a card table: “Who dealt this hand? No one confesses.” And what’s not to love in “Tomato Harvest,” with its invocation of “the juicy squinch” in the first bite of Sacramento’s signature fruit. Anvil is available at The Book Collector, at 1008 24th Street.