Native West Press

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The Titles

Blessed Pests of the Beloved South West, by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb and Terril L. Shorb (Eds)

The Reviews

Blessed Pests of the Beloved South West

by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb and Terril L. Shorb (Eds)

ISBN = 0-9653849-3-4
Price = $9.95
Published = October 2003
Review written = 11/March/2004
143 pages

This is an interesting work, with an ostensibly small focused audience, however much of it is applicable to humanity throughout the western world. The introduction says "this is not a cute book". And if by this they mean that it is not all sugar and spice, then that it is true. However it is definitely a book with a message, and that message is, if not always pro-insects, at least always pro-learning more about the world around us, and for this reason I am happy to review it here.

The book contains a number of short articles and poems all united under the subject of insects and human interaction with them in the South West of the USA. For the most part the articles are well written, some very well written, giving an intelligent, yet easy and light view of their subject. They are entertaining, and approachable, in a 'person you can talk to' sort of way. As an entomologist and writer I was happy with what I read here, except for one reference to male worker wasp.

However as a poet I was not so happy with the poetry, most of it was of the modern no rhyme no rhythm, no real structure at all, sort of poetry. There was very little in the way of metaphore or of musical language. This sort of pseudo-poetry that is easy to write because it requires no effort what-so-ever and it is currently drowning the poetic world as it pours endlessly from innumerable cheap 'poetry' magazines. The editors would have been, in my opinion, much better advised to have acquired a few more articles and to have foregone the poetry altogether.

That said, I should end by saying, don't let the poetry put you off, as a whole, the book is worth buying, and the message it carries is worth propagating.


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