The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

9781877655883_cvr.inddSea-Level Nerve by James Grabill
Wordcraft of Oregon. 2014.


James Grabill’s book of prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve, brings forth a lot of controversial topics on the environment, endangered species, preservation, and the natural world. One of his poems, Dream of the Hippos, is very abstract but nonetheless hides the issue of the endangerment of the creature under the craziness of the poem. Starting off, the poem seems innocent, but it proceeds to ram into you with unique lyricism that gives facts about the main idea. Most of Grabill’s poems are like this; The Idea of Meat makes you think about how we differentiate the animal from the food we eat, for example. Grabill’s poems give observations of science in a creative way that brings your mind into a state of both outer and inner awareness on the topics at hand. Grabill’s stunning writing style mixed with his professional knowledge of environmental studies, biodiversity, and other sciences make reading Sea Level Nerve an enjoyable read and a great learning experience.


MOLLY MCALLISTER is a student at Johnson State College.