RaveThe New York TimesLike Eliot, Muldoon’s after big, apocalyptic vision; unlike Eliot, Muldoon is willing — no, compelled — to clown ... his bawdiness is political ... Like many important poets before him, from John Milton to Tim Rice, Muldoon knows that sinners and villains are more interesting, maybe more human, than self-appointed good guys. Poems, for Muldoon, are occasions to plumb the language for a truth that’s abysmal: as in appalling, and as in deep. It’s clear that underneath the play Muldoon is furious, maybe even terrified, about the state of things.
RaveThe Poetry FoundationEvery now and then Seidel reminds me of Frank O’Hara, with his forthright sexiness, strings of seemingly unrelated assertions, and passing allusions in personal poems to the larger world ... Seidel’s own art doesn’t scream. It’s too well-educated and cultured and mannered (as in mannerism, as in mannerly) to perform that way. It might make us want to scream ... You certainly can like Seidel at his harshest if you can admit to yourself that you have laughed at offensive jokes, are drawn to car wrecks, and found even the slightest bit of prurience amid the televised horror of 9/11 and other awful events. Which is to say, if you can admit you’re human, and—not guilty-feeling, but culpable.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... full of celebration, crisis, brokenness and healing, with poems that rely on lyric techniques like repetition, avoidance of temporal specifics and the urge to speak collectively.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewSotelo’s poems tend to blend together, partly thanks to her fondness for I-statements ... Paradoxically, self disappears behind self-reference, and \'I\' has a blurring effect, as if we’re driving too fast through a landscape to take much in. But Sotelo’s best poems are also first person ... Slowing down, she relays experience without evasive disjunction or false coherence. Sotelo’s complicated ambivalence about men who \'still love girls, but rarely admit it\' is disturbing and authentic.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review\"The pervading mood in Trickster Feminism is of a piece with our national mood: gloom-filled, sorrowing, yet occasionally threaded with hope ... Reading Waldman is like being in the world today, neither inured to the news nor lacerated by our own empathy ... Readers who are heavily invested in (productive) irony may resist when Waldman... It’s easy to feel drawn to this poet’s idealism and generosity of spirit; hard, as well, not to be grateful for moments when she indulges in a little self-puncturing. Hints of the trickster, indeed, that most intelligent subversive.\
MixedThe New York Times Books ReviewThe best poems in this frequently luminous collection are about pigs: as commodity, abused in factory farms, slaughterhouse-bound or already dead ... By contrast, George’s humans tend to be scenic elements; children are usually asleep or dead, therefore symbolic and undisruptive ... alluring, also vague and disconnected. George sometimes begins poems stronger than she ends them ... mere observation is a claim to innocence. Wholehearted embrace of complicity might be more interesting.