The HyperTexts
Editor: Michael R. Burch

A Review by Laurel Johnson

Reviewing a website is a first for me. I discovered The HyperTexts while reviewing books published by Joe Ruggier, editor of Multicultural Books of British Columbia, a Burch colleague. The books were of such excellent overall quality, I wanted to know more about Burch and The HyperTexts. Visiting The HyperTexts turned out to be an exhilarating and enlightening adventure. The site is easy to navigate and positively loaded with memorable poetry and essays. It's a website devoted to capturing the potential beauty and intensity of the English language. I found gems written by past poetic masters and new, compelling offerings from contemporary poets.

To ease navigation for readers, Burch has divided his website into varying topics of interest:

"Esoterica" features poems by icons of the ages who are not necessarily known for their poetry: Einstein, Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Hemingway, and Elie Wiesel, for example.

"Essays and Assays" features essays, interviews, and reviews, with a focus on writers / poets who produce exemplary work.

"Rock Jukebox" features lyrics by songwriters like Simon, Dylan, Springsteen, Lennon, and McCartney. Burch believes that today, as in our ancient past, some of the most passionate poetry took musical form.

"The Masters" is devoted to poems by the great classical masters of poetry and contemporary icons.

"Featured Works" presents in detail examples of poetry Burch admires along with commentaries. I found this topic to be an excellent learning experience for poets and poetry lovers.

"Mysterious Ways" features poetry, art, and literature that deals with things mysterious, such as God, eternity, death, and afterlife.

"Grace Notes" examines the philosophy of grace and all its meanings. Grace is a word and a concept that has remained unspoiled from ancient times to the present day. All forms of grace, eternal and kindly, is what you'll find here.

"Thanksgiving" is a verbally stunning and beautiful testament from Burch. From the survival of Iraqi War buddies to thoughts of his mother, this topic is poignant and uplifting.

"A Dram of Epigrams" features short poems, one-liners, witticisms and zingers from the famous, near famous, and infamous.

"Wit and Fluff" is an entertaining amalgam of humorous and thought-provoking quotes.

In addition to the diverse topics mentioned, readers are provided links to other websites and a helpful search option. The featured contemporary writers are listed alphabetically to the far left of the home page and each one is worth exploring.

Michael Burch is a man who puts his money and energy where his heart is. The HyperTexts reflects his philosophy and social conscience in a myriad of ways. This website is an esoteric celebration of old and new, classic and modern. By avoiding arbitrary labels and limits, Burch provides the highest form of excellence available to readers. He searches out and introduces sights and sounds he believes will excite and charm. And, thanks to the sponsorship of Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc., he does it without popups or other forms of advertisement.

If you enjoy poetry in any form, or prefer to be enlightened and educated in unusual ways, this well-crafted website is sure to be a favorite.

Review by Laurel Johnson
Midwest Book Review