Friday, December 22, 2006

Reviews for THE NO-NET WORLD


Poet Larissa Shmailo doesn't really need a CD of her poetry to prove she's the real deal -- Shmailo is an accomplished poet who's been published in many magazines, journals and reviews. ... Thankfully though, Larissa Shmailo has compiled some of her best work in her new poetry CD, The No-Net World. The No-Net World is a solid collection of Shmailo's intensity, heart and wit. Her poetry is careful, considered, yet powerful. You may be fooled at first by her voice, which lilts like a bird. You may mistake her sweet tone as fragile -- she is far from it, yet still retains a vulnerability that allows her to tap directly into the listener with piercing emotion. Her observations of life and love offer no formality -- she tells it like it is, and sometimes it's gritty.

The album opens with four strong poems, including "In Paran", a dramatic tribal piece that feels ancient and familiar. Shmailo's humor is as sharp as her intensity, this is quickly evident in "For Six Months with You":"For Six Months with You / I would live in Kansas / join a carpool / shave my legs" Though the entire collection is, the best moments come near the end of the CD, first when Shmailo treats us to her own translations of pieces by Russian poets Pushkin and Mayakovsky; then in the most riveting and sobering poem of the collection, "How My Family Survived the Camps" in which the poet deftly recounts her family's history and survival during the Holocaust. The No-Net World takes you on one woman's tour of the globe, combining stark reality with lush hope. I recommend that you go along for the ride.


Listening to poet and translator Larissa Shmailo’s latest spoken word CD is almost like attending eighteen short plays in the span of forty minutes. Like the best plays, each poem tells a compelling story of human struggle... Like the best plays, her poems also crackle with breathtaking language, which in the true tradition of the tragedies of which she speaks almost sound as if they could be sung (indeed, in some cases they almost are). Shmailo’s expert understanding of the close relationship between poetry and drama, music and language, and the primal human need to just hear a really, really good story make The No-Net World a truly unique contribution to twenty-first century American poetry, and a CD worth listening to frequently and carefully.

Larissa Shmailo ...really knows how to write, how to read, how to present her poetry. She is masterful in the wonderfully rhythmic "Johnny I Love You Don't Die"...Shmailo's album is thoughtful, entertaining, and bears repeated listens.


“How My Family Survived the Camps,” [IS] the strongest, the most important poem here, and one which clearly is based on personal (or at least familial) experience, and one which carries great emotional power. In it she describes the combination of luck and ingenuity that enabled her family to survive the Holocaust. The key poem on the CD, it gives by far the best realization of her running theme, that how we react to what happens to us is as important as the events themselves."

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