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Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
Robert Letters’ poetry collection, Recipe for Garum, throws us pleasantly into a world of alliteration and words that have a life all of their own, such as on page 78: “Cassiopeia in the east/last locust/rubs her legs together” from Part III Then You Said Come Outside. Letters enthralls his readers with a narration style that brings a bygone essence back to the forefront. The way Letters lays down words is the same way that a mason would lay down brick or limestone. Each word, perfect in its place.
Recipe for Garum by Robert Letters is a poetry collection like no other I have ever read. Poems, long or short, create a stage that beckons the reader closer with every page that turns. There are times when there is a slight amount of confusion about what is being related, but it’s this comfortable tottering-teetering, off-balance feeling that rights itself on and off in a spectacular fashion. I think what I loved most about Letters' poems was that they brought about so many different levels of emotion. Right when you think you are headed for one, it swivels, and you experience something different than what you had originally expected. Robert Letters' Recipe for Garum flits you from place to place and what feels like time to time, giving you, the reader, a recipe for utter satisfaction and complete awe. This would be a great addition to anyone’s bookshelf and would be a wonderful book to have on any university’s reading list in Poetry or English.