Richard Garcia came to Georgia College to perform a reading on the 24th of this month. I’d never had much experience with his work before, and so I went to the reading having read only a few of his poems. The reading itself seemed to highlight some of the stranger poems in the book, a few of which ranked among my least favorites, but most of which still contained strong lines and images. I purchased Porridge with the intention of getting to know Garcia’s writing a bit better.
Porridge is a collection of prose poems, one of my favorite forms both to write and to read. I enjoyed the first poem in the collection quite a lot, and found myself immersed in a few of Garcia’s themes. His writing is poignant yet subtle, a duality that is rare. Though I didn’t love every poem in the collection, I saw value in his willingness to challenge the genre and to combine so many motifs.
Garcia incorporates fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and even a few comic book heros into his poems throughout this collection. The poems each have a strong voice, be it an interesting if not eclectic voice at times.
I give the collection a 7/10.