Archives for posts with tag: poetry reviews


The recent Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS by Ellaraine Lockie has garnered a rave from reviewer Ed Bennett at Quill and Parchment (

Here are some excerpts from Bennett’s review:

Christmas has arrived early this year with the publication of Ellaraine Lockie’s latest book Coffee House Confessions. As always, Ms. Lockie has assembled a group of poems that allows one to read and then spend some time pondering the relationship between her words and our own emotional landscape. The theme of this book revolves around Ms. Lockie’s personal discipline of going to a coffee shop, no matter where she may be, and draw inspiration from the rest of the patrons and the staff. The resulting collection is a laser eyed look at humanity and the way we interact in this caffeinated laboratory…

Ellaraine Lockie has written ten collections of poetry and, not surprisingly, she has won awards both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. This latest book carries the characteristic stamp of her work: accessible language with creative imagery and an understanding eye that sees deeper into the realities of the world.  Despite the familiarity of style, each of her books is a unique work and Coffee House Confessions is no exception. While we may see our local coffee shop as a good place for a brew, Ms. Lockie sees a workshop of human interaction. What we may dismiss as a fleeting gesture, she finds a more complex meaning.
Yes, I knew the merits of this book before I cracked the cover but each poem gave me an enjoyment that so few other writers can muster. This is a wonderful book by a talented poet. I recommend it highly, especially for those summer days sitting outside at your favorite coffee shop.

Read the entire review at Quill and Parchment.


Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, for her book’s review in the May 2, 2013 Examiner. We are including the stellar review in its entirety below.

by Cheryl Wyneken

Ellaraine Lockie’s book of poetry, Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013), piques my interest with its fresh ground coffee aroma that brings the promise of insights into life rising on each page. It introduces us to people of all sizes and shapes, cultures, ages, race and political or religious outlooks: a Teddy Bear man, raking pebbles in a Buddhist Zen sand garden out front, Stockbroker in a Silicon Valley suit, an Italian coffee maker/at the Bar La Cisteria, the ghosts of Lord Byron, Hans Christian Andersen and Luis Vaz de Camoes. As the title suggests, the collection is a compilation of the insights Lockie has gained from watching people come and go in coffee shops around the world where she arrives daily with pen and pad in hand.

As a true poet she uses vibrant images: Starbucks, Santa Claus, stage four Jesus, Mountain Man, Mobile, pack of Camels, Salem cigarettes and Valium. Her delightful free style poems are also enhanced by her use of poetic compression and alliteration: bristle/brush and lettering/lizards.

Lockie opens the collection with “Java Genetics,” an analysis of the connection between storytelling around campfires of prehistory, to today’s coffee houses and poets, likening their relationship to a seed (coffee bean) that has been planted and evolved in our DNAs. She explains her use of the word confessions in “White Noise and Other Muses”: Little does she know I’m eating her alive. “The Privacy of Public” deals with how troubles in life can often be dealt with better under the restraint of strangers watching: Something horrible here that can be alluded to/…perhaps only in the privacy of public. In “The Young and The Restless,” she finds memories from her own life in one coffee house as she watches the antics of a lively dog: The woman ties her charge to the table legs/…He sniffs the air then yanks the table toward /leftovers in a garbage can.

The last entry, “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby,” brings us to a typical coffee shop occasion portrayed as a scene in Edwardian England where the poet has come to sell her chapbooks and a sale buys the day’s quota of caffeine.

I recommend this entertaining and well rendered collection of poems.

Coffee House Confessions is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon or ordered from bookstores.

Cover photo: Nick Warzin (