Reviews and Praise for Minar's Work
About Cymbalism (Mammoth Books 2016), a collection of original poems —
“Cymbalism is, on the one hand, a book of remarkable conversations, a cacophony (a chorus) of voices—mythical, historical, conjured, dreamed—roused into speech by chance encounters with the poet’s shadow-self, Insidious. On the other hand, it’s the expression of a philosophical imagination tempered by humor, skepticism, and an economy of style that somehow manages to reconnect that broken link between the mundane and the mysterious. Scott Minar has written a wonderful book, one that haunts the mind long after the last page is turned.”
—Sherrod Santos (author of The Star Pilot Elegies and The Intricated Soul)
“In Scott Minar’s Cymbalism, the history of Romanticism is called back into the character of Insidious, an “American cousin of Zbigniew Herbert’s Mr. Cogito.” It’s an uneasy balance between assembly and dismemberment, held together with a kind of bureaucratic inevitability. It’s a truth particular to this time and place, where Minar’s elegant lyricism is put to the service of a harsh past-tense historical and metaphysical afterlife, defined at the point in a party “[w]hen everyone lined up for the photograph, / doves beat the air / at just the right moment.” This is a seductive and unflinching book, beautifully rendered.”
—John Gallaher (author of In a Landscape and Map of the Folded World)
“Let Insidious roar!”
—Ingela Strandberg (recipient of The Bellman Prize and author of I Dreamt About Sam Shepard Last Night: Selected Poems of Ingela Strandberg, trans. Göran Malmqvist)
"This is true poetry, very remarkable, often lovely, and somehow very unexpected."
—DM Black (author of Claiming Kindred and translator of Love as Landscape Painter)
About Gilgamesh and Other Poems (Mammoth Books 2018), a collection of original poems inspired by characters from Sumerian/Akkadian epic—
"Somehow these poems, no matter how they speak of love or desire or other feeling, seem to be the voice of stone itself talking."
—Elizabeth Dodd (Author of Horizon’s Lens: My Time on the Turning World and Archetypal Light)
“I love these voices! These poems have that pulse beating under and between the words.”
—Ingela Strandberg, winner of The Bellman Prize and Author of I Dreamt AboutSam Shepard Last Night:
Selected Poems of Ingela Strandberg
“I just finished reading Minar’s Gilgamesh. Wow. Fantastic.”
—Philip Terman, author of Our Portion: Selected Poems
"Scott Minar is an adventurous poet […] clever enough to interpret the wisdom of the East using Western values. Each poem in this unique collection starts from the direct sensitivity of understanding a remote, ambiguous, and dreaming atmosphere. He takes our imagination on a flight from a dreary present into the deep pleasure of an alternative reality. This book is marvelous, aspiring, and open. Each poem is a multiple construction launching with a reminder of the original myth, only to ascend into the poet’s self, exploring his reflections of the past and the present, illness, the nature of beauty, and much more."
—Saleh Razzouk, The University of Aleppo
"Scott Minar's work is a remarkable find."
—Joyce Carol Oates in a Letter to The Ohio Review
"This is one of the best things written about me."
—Mark Strand responding to Scott's essay/review of Man and Camel