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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Review by Vanessa Maki

‘The Great Northern Journey’ Review

A chapbook should contain poems that create an atmosphere and possibly invoke some imagery for its readers. Especially where poems that surround the elements. And with a certain kind of delicacy, Anthony Romello Salandy’s The Great Northern Journey manages to take its reader on an actual journey with his words. While the work and subject matter may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the poems still manage to do their jobs and stay the course. From the exploration of darkness, ideas on youth, emotional isolation and a lonely reality. Within some of the poems Salandy digs into what he views as people’s low points, alongside the hopelessness that comes with those moments.

In his poem titled “Northern Elements” he wrote: Sometimes I wonder

Or rather sometimes I dream

About crashing towards the Earth

Through voluminous clouds

As they begin to dust snow

Onto the quaint villages

Essentially it’s one of the strongest poems of the bunch, reminding you just where your mind should be while reading: a snow covered landscape. And it suggest Salandy longs for a different point in time for himself or is writing it as if he does.

What one can take away from this short chapbook is very situational. Some people don’t have a connection to winter, snow or anything that feels less than modern. Meanwhile others live for the coldness and the bitterness that snow physically and metaphorically can bring about. All in all this chapbook should be read by those who enjoy poems focused heavy on atmosphere. As well as certain brand of longing and want.


You may preorder a copy of The Great Northern Journey here.

Vanessa Maki is a queer writer, artist & blk feminist whose work has appeared or will appear in various places.  She has self-published a handful of chapbooks & currently has two forthcoming in 2020: sweet like limes (Bone & Ink Press) & the chosen one (Animal Heart Press). 

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