Link here to read Bill Arnott’s review from The Miramichi Reader.
Link here to read Claire Molyneux’s review from New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy.
Link here to purchase book, ebook, or PDF format from the publisher’s website.
Mary Rykov’s some conditions apply invites readers into poems that observe, question, laugh and weep, wielding language that is variously gentle as “thick and rich / shaken, stirred / and crispy.” Musical transformation reverberates throughout themes of displacement, resilience and love to contradict auto-click culture forced upon us by the pressure of instant gratification in 24/7 connection. Mindful that weeds are wildflowers in the wrong place, the poet nurtures and celebrates tenacity everywhere it blooms.
“Mary Rykov’s is an exuberant, brave voice that ranges from acerbic wit to tender grief. She has an ear alive to the playfulness inherent in our language, and an eye hungry for vivid detail. The poems in some conditions apply range in their concerns from family and identity to pain and the healthcare system, but throughout there is the consistent thread of Rykov’s generous spirit. You’ll be glad to get to know it in this book.”
—Adam Sol, author of How a Poem Moves
“As music therapist, researcher, and educator, Mary Rykov wears many hats in her first collection. The most personal poems work best, as Rykov avoids the trap of self-indulgence. Rykov allows “music to force its way out,” as in the line from “happy hour moon over miami”: slurping the oyster bare—the one only love can shuck and toss back to the sea.”
—Ron Charach, author of Prosopagnosia
“At times tender and playful, Mary Rykov weaves threads that delight, surprise, and perplex. Much like music therapy, these poems transform. They demand experiential engagement, invite curiosity, and reward the reader with sunlit sparkles and perpetual change in fluid motion.”
—Claire Molyneux, editor of Tales from the Music Therapy Room: Creative Connections
“With words clear-sighted, courageous and precise, pain, death, and beauty coexist here in the honesty and skill of Mary Rykov’s art. To quote one of her many potent images, she is searching the butterfly for the pupa’s soul.”
—Merlin Homer, Artist