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Thomsen Reviews Hines

Saturday Review: “For Those Who Cannot Yet Speak” a review by Melinda Thomsen of AE Hines Any Dumb Animal (2021) in NCLR Online Winter 2024

We’re sharing some new book reviews from our forthcoming Winter issue.

We’ve covered several authors recently who are well-established in their writing careers, so it’s a refreshing change to begin at the beginning, and review a debut collection of poetry. About Hines’ debut poetry collection Thomsen writes, “Hines grew up in North Carolina, and his childhood forms the foundation for these engaging, well-crafted poems struggling with the complexity of the poet’s life as the son of an abusive father.”

Hines brings his own artistic voice to poems grieving the loss of the parental relationship and also to the joy at finding other relationships to nurture and support him. Thomsen says, “Throughout Any Dumb Animal, Hines recounts not only our culture’s brutality, but also its moments of grace. Some of these poems may pain those who have witnessed violence in their homes or community, but we need this book. Hines’s poems navigate from the most aggressive to gentlest moments, resulting in poems that speak directly to us, and for those who cannot yet speak.”

Read the entire review and buy the book from your local independent bookstore.