This is a marvelous idea for making poetry entertaining to a larger audience…My favorite poem here is "After the Changeling Incantation," which I loved in its entirety, but especially the phrase "filling your wings with sky" and the closing lines. This is a wise, wonderful, wondrous poem, evoking character and situation, and the larger story behind them.I also loved the surreal title poem, "Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town." The poem leads the reader down the stairs with it, from the specific commonplace details near the start, down to a stranger, larger place. The ending is powerful and perfect.”
Poetry may seem too high-brow for someone looking for a quick and entertaining read, but Stairs Appear does a charming job of inviting the reader to give illustrated poetry a try.Johnson’s poetry includes a variety of speculative subject matter, dipping into zombies, changelings, and ghosts over the course of the collection. Each artist brings a very different style to the poems in the project, and I liked seeing the diverse range of layout and imagery they used to pull the poem and the artwork together into a cohesive whole… Johnson and the chapbook’s artists have given us a great example of where graphic poetry can go, and I look forward to more such collaborations.
This is not your ordinary comic book… all of these poems, while quite different from one another in tone or mood, have a quality about them, which worms its way into you and bites you, surprises you or delights you. These are the best sort of narrative poems, which don’t just tell a story but catch you unawares, blow your mind open with a little twist and give you something to ponder.