Online Reviews

Review by Grace Cavalieri of Washington Independent

Audio links of reviews

For Every River on Earth

Reviews in Print

For Confessions of a Captured Angel:

Portsmouth Daily Times June 29th, 2016


“How do you make a poet or at least / a man in love with death?” I can’t answer this, but I can say that turning fifty helps. In these wise and lovely mortal ruminations Neil Carpathios, long one of my favorite poets, turns fifty, that perilous promontory from which the world starts to flicker like an old neon sign. But age just makes Carpathios pay attention all the more keenly. The joy of this book is that it makes us pause with him on our little human journey and take in the view while we still have time. You couldn’t ask for a better guide.

~George Bilgere


The poems in Neil Carpathios’ new book, though much concerned with death, are very much alive: intelligent, tender, humorous, entertaining, and even profound–sometimes all at the same time. As the best poets do, Carpathios celebrates our astonishing luck in being able, however, limited our time, to “behold the lipstick kiss on a glass’s rim,” and “listen to the crickets.”

~Charles Harper Webb

For Every River on Earth:

Appalachian Journal   Volume 43 Number 1-2  2016

  • William Scott Hanna on Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio edited by Neil Carpathios


For At the Axis of Imponderables:

Reading this book I feel like I’m listening in on a conversation between Imagination and Reality, and what is in question is the shifting nature of both. Surreal stories are spun, metaphysics explored, and conjectures made with a mischievous sense of humor and  a seemingly endless, exacting, and profound imagination. Despite his sometimes outrageous premises, angels committing suicide, ‘a bored baby wallpapering his mother’s womb,’ Carpathios’ eye is always on the main thing: in ordinary moments, what is it like to be human? The poems are generous and uplifting; they are heartbreaking. The epiphanies leave you breathless, close to tears, readying yourself for the next transformation. This is one of the finest books I’ve read in a long time. –Steve Orlen

Neil Carpathios’s poems are lively and erotic, sweet, sad, and funny, like the best parts of daily life, ‘the way my love/for Chester, our dog, is red/but my love for you is something/further than red…,’ the way the poet watches “the father watching his daughter grow up/before his eyes…one of those moments like a door/on its hinges, opening into a new room.” These are poems of tender observation, mindful of the many ways we worry about each other, and about the world in general, and about God as well, who may or may not be worrying about us. ‘In whose mind as a memory do I dance?’ Carpathios asks in the last line of the book’s first poem. He’ll never know, but he’ll continue to wonder, imagining the possibilities, those connections a poem can lure into looking like the truth. –Lawrence Raab

From Neil Carpathios’s vantage point in these poems, At the Axis of Imponderables, he exposes daily life unflinchingly. These are frank, razor-sharp, and tender excursions into reality, with God, and with the dead, part of the daily round. Carpathios is not afraid to confront the excruciating, necessary forms life takes, as when he acknowledges that life ‘is a safe full of gold/hanging by a thread out a window and now the wind.'” –Jane Miller


For previous pieces:

One of the main purposes of poetry is to knock us over with language, and no one does that better that Neil Carpathios.

~David Lee Garrison


He delves so near to the heart and dares to put on paper what it’s like to be human, with all its blessings, fears, curses, and wonders.

~Nin Andrews