He’s a big guy who sports a smile true to his heart and shakes with belly laughter that erupts with little urging.  In Brackish, a recently released book of poetry, that big man I call friend takes us to the gulf marsh where he digs, revealing entire stanzas buried alive, pulsing under mud and peat, thick and heavy with the past, and spreads the words before us like the day’s catch of fish, not yet cleaned, hearts still beating. It is a  feast for the heart. Revealing not one thing, but everything, his words drip of brackish water as he writes to and about the gulf ghosts that breathe down his back.  Freshwater of the future meets saltwater of the past. He reeks of home and fish; stagnant pools and marsh; a mill town coughing up sulfur; a father's cigarettes.  Jeff Newberry has something to say that is worth saying, and he refuses to wash the marsh mud from his poetry, dress it up, and spray it with fine cologne.  It’s a saltwater mouth in Brackish. Good Lord, I smell it. 


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