RaveThe Los Angeles ReviewBright Dead Things by Ada Limón is musical, emotional, and honest, its verse muscular and unflinching. Limón’s wears her heart on her sleeve, and in this collection that heart takes the form of a huge, pounding horse’s heart ... The poems are interested in the balance between internal and external loci of control, how someone may want to be known and identified on their terms, not lumped into categories and stereotypes ... Limón’s poetry regularly rebukes the ironic mode commonly employed by a number of her contemporaries, and opts for unabashed and strong emotional language. This is not to say that her verse lacks texture or vivid imagery; rather, moments in Limón’s poetry are heightened by the combination of lexical playfulness and emotional depth ... The poems in Bright Dead Things give off their own light, moving with terrific force and speed. Without sacrificing a terrific eye for detail and image, they draw out the emotions that charge us and the landscape we cover between homes.
RaveThe RumpusSolmaz Sharif’s Look is a book that disrupts, fervently and effectively. The poems within are allergic to complacency and linguistic hypnosis ... Look suggests that the catalyst of war has altered lives both in seismic and subtle ways, but it also points to a particularly poignant effect of war felt here in today’s United States: Islamophobia.