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Reviews for Cindy Hochman and Chocolate Waters in Gently Read Literature for December


I love the very impressive format for Daniel Casey's Gently Read Literature.  In this issue are my reviews for Cindy Hochman’s The Carcinogenic Bride, published by Poetry Thin Air Press (2011) and Chocolate Waters’ The Woman Who Wouldn’t Shake Hands, published by Poets Wear Prada and Eggplant Press.  I highly recommend these books.

For Cindy Hochman’s The Carcinogenic Bride


Clear the aisles!  Here comes The Carcinogenic Bride by Cindy Hochman from Poetry Thin Air Press (2011). No fanfare or organ music to accompany Ms. Hochman’s 22 poems.  Band-aids and surgical gloves need not apply.  Cindy’s poems are not bouquets of shrinking violets. They stand alone, cultivated by her brand of Brooklyn sensibility and wit.

Unlike my signature piece, The Bride Wore Black, which is my vow to singlehood, Cindy walked down a different aisle and emerged a survivor.  She survived the trenches of marriage, divorce, and cancer.  Her book is her license to life.

Yet she doesn’t walk alone.  Many women have walked down that same aisle. They are the warrior women who have battled with spouses or danced with the “Big C”.  They are the women who could relate most to Ms. Hochman’s stories and learn to laugh at life. (Read more at


For Chocolate Waters’ The     

Woman Who Wouldn't Shake 



After a thirty-year hiatus,
Chocolate Waters emerges with her spicy new chapbook, The Woman Who Wouldn’t
Shake Hands,
published by Poets Wear Prada
(2011) and Eggplant Press (2011). 
Chocolate’s writing is rich, creamy, and dark with a shot of vodka: the
flavors that make her thirty-two poems taste yummy like her name and leave you
craving more.  Ms. Waters, the Poet
Laureate of Hell’s Kitchen and a lesbian activist, shares her passion, pathos,
and humor on that most confusing and complex word in any language—love.  Her short pieces are honest and simple,
spiced with grit, and easy to relate to. 
You cry one moment and laugh the next.  Chocolate doesn’t want to shake your hand.  She wants you to get to know her
instead. (


Patricia Carragon


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