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In Hart Island, there are whispers of people who lie just below perception, muttering multivocal protests of how, based on their status in life, they are placed away and forgotten, invisible shoulders upon which the city (or the poetry world) rests. Not an anxiety of influence, but a murmuring of both injustice and desire to connect, for recognition — for people to either stand at the grave and acknowledge or appreciate, no matter who a person might be or might have been.

Kenyon Review

Books about reading inspire contradictory emotions: the subject is powerful because reading is a flow-inducing, identity-challenging experience; conversely, the strategy can suggest a too-desperate argument by writers for their own relevance, distancing art from first-hand pains and pleasures. Orlando White’s LETTERRS isn’t exactly about reading.

LA Review of Books

IN 1935, LOUISE BOGAN — in her late 30s, and by then the author of two full-length poetry collections and a poetry critic for The New Yorker (a position she was to hold for 38 years) — began a lusty affair with 26-year-old Theodore Roethke, who adored her with lavish ambition and admiration, and who is reported to have said such things to her as “Louise, you’re a great minor poet and I’m a bastard, but kiss me.”

LA Review of Books

IN 1935, LOUISE BOGAN — in her late 30s, and by then the author of two full-length poetry collections and a poetry critic for The New Yorker (a position she was to hold for 38 years) — began a lusty affair with 26-year-old Theodore Roethke, who adored her with lavish ambition and admiration, and who is reported to have said such things to her as “Louise, you’re a great minor poet and I’m a bastard, but kiss me.”

Meridian

"In addition to its elegiac overtones, Leavitt's poetry is not infrequently invested in feeling globally, and in the possibility of an aesthetic that reclaims even as it celebrates and describes. In 'Love letter to my detriment,' the space of the garden becomes the space of America in which the poet is embedded, and environmental toxicity and climate change motivate its coinages, elisions, self-doubt, and grammatical breakdown ... Finally, though, Leavitt's overloaded aesthetic is not perhaps a pessimistic one.

Bookslut

 

Rain Taxi

"Gracie Leavitt's Monkeys, Minor Planet, Average Star shows how poetry can shape itself around a prickly surface that proves nonetheless irresistible. These are poems constructed around long run-on sentences and an idiosyncratic and Latinate lexicon. Poems like this should, one thinks, be uninviting, but their energy proves otherwise. The rough edges scratch where it itches ... A distinctive aspect of this work is its peculiar syntax.

Publishers Weekly Review for Landscapes on a Train

"Formidable vocabulary and cavalier jumps between subject matter are standard in Leavitt’s debut collection of post-modern pastorals.

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