REVIEW: “Soonest Mended” by Honor Hamlet and Till Kaeufer

Review of Honor Hamlet and Till Kaeufer, “Soonest Mended”, in Around Distant Suns, ed. by Emma Johanna Puranen (Guardbridge Books, 2021): 17-20 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

I have pretty narrow tastes when it comes to poetry, and I’ll admit this one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea; it was a bit too “post-modern”, I think, for my tastes — unsurprising because Hamlet and Kaeufer’s collaboration is one of the closest, with Kaeufer contributing a machine learning programming that actual wrote a line of the poem! But what I loved, and which makes poems like this such a wonderful contribution to the volume, was what the poet and the scientist said in their collaboration notes: “While writing a poem, you’re constantly asking if the information in the previous line is relevant enough to trigger a reaction in the next line” (p. 20). What I want from my fiction and poetry is something that makes me think about things differently, and I got that.