Thursday, March 6, 2008


Although it isn't the best review we have ever seen, since it focuses more on the theme of the book, rather than the actual writing content, we are still always happy to get reviews! The book reviewed is a chapbook of poetry centering around a particular love interest: temperance in moderation by leah angstman, published by us and featuring the work of an Alternating Current poet. The reviewer is Nightwaves Website, a reviewer we do not know [we stumbled upon it in a Google search], and whom has thusfar not returned our contact emails.


Temperance in Moderation- 2002- Propaganda Press, PO Box 304, Mason, MI, 48854, USA,

This is a collection of poetry by Leah Angstman (is that her real name?... sounds like a pen name if I ever heard one!). From what I can tell, every poem in this book is dedicated to Andrew McCauley, whom I'm assuming is very special to Leah. In fact, after a while this sort of became a bit too obsessive for my tastes. Poem after poem dedicated to the greatness of Andrew. I'm sure Andrew is a swell guy, but come on, this sounds like the gushing of a 14 year old with a severe crush. Don't get me wrong, this poetry is far from stupid, in fact Leah does show an able pen, but the subject matter is just too one-sided. I mean, there's one poem called "Andrew is Everything"!!! On one hand, I do hope that Leah and Andrew get married someday, they have kids, and spend the rest of their lives happy. But I also think it is very possible that this young lady will one day regret the fact that she ever wrote this zine. I get rather leery whenever I see anyone being put on a pedestal.


A few things, and not just a rebuttal, but just a few things for those who want a more in-depth review:
  • The book can no longer be purchased from this listed address. Propaganda Press can now be reached at Alternating Current, PO Box 398058, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA,,,
  • leah angstman does not capitalize her name, which is an anti-proper noun statement that urges the reader to focus more on the writing and the words than the importance of the author. In addition, leah does not capitalize any of her poetry, titles, or poem lines, nor use punctuation in her poems. This is her way of allowing you to take from each poem a unique and personalized experience that is individualized by each reader's differing analysis and perception of each line.
  • Yes, angstman is the author's given last name from her father's German ancestry. No, it is not a pen name.
  • Most of leah's poetry collections center around an individual theme or a group of themes, people, cities, ideas, conceptions: this particular one centers around a particular love at the time. If you do not like themed poetry collections, especially about individual people, character sketches, or personality dissections, then I would suggest reading an anthology of leah's work [aftermath, a woman among the wolves], rather than an individual themed chapbook. She really does have very many different styles: poetry about life on an Indian Reservation [a thousand ghosts], poetry about big cities [chicago in winter, fancy that of london], poetry about travels [next exit], and more. Explore, and you will find something you like.
  • [A slight rebuttal:] leah is not 14 years old, nor does the writing suggest that. Tack on double that amount, and actually read the words, rather than getting hooked up on the subject matter. The works in this particular collection contain some of leah's best words to date.
  • leah does not and will not ever regret writing her poetry collections. They center around a place, moment, person, idea in time; and that feeling in that moment is chronicled forever in words. leah and Andrew are not married and not together, nor were they at the time the book was written. The work, however, does not put the person on a pedestal so much as it shows the passion and wanting of human beings in a certain situation.
  • The chapbook is only available now in short supply while copies last. It is slated for release in the upcoming paperback by leah angstman, january girl, which is a collection of fifteen chapbooks compiled into one that will be available through Propaganda Press upon release.