PositiveKenyon ReviewThe collection, winner of the 2019 National Book Award, carries Sze’s deep attention to the natural world and its beauties and degradations, alongside personal memory, historical reflection, scientific inquiry, and a philosopher’s wisdom ... Sight lines are invisible threads from an observer’s eye to what is being viewed, and Sze’s sight lines can serve as one axis to center this faltering world ... In an act similar to echolocation, Sze sends out images that return—sometimes reverberating within one poem itself...and sometimes from one poem to another ... Through this imagistic echolocation, Sze offers readers an unflinching look at mortality, and through its gaze, the act of living fully.
RaveThe Kenyon ReviewReading this collection is like putting together each rung of a ladder that stretches toward the sky by sinking into its watery reflection ... there is nothing easy about Limón’s poetry, despite its straightforward language and tone. Her attention to form, though not formal by strictest definition, shows obvious care ... Everywhere, Limón’s imagery is visceral and easily visible to the mind’s eye—horses, mountains, water, dogs, owls and birds make repeat visits throughout Bright Dead Things, but in new guises with new intentions. Her use of sound and repetition strikes the ear as balanced, always seeming in proportion to the poem’s action ... Reading Bright Dead Things is a pleasure, not because the book in its weaving from discomfort to near-comfort is easy, but because by the end, we can believe that living any style or form of life is enough, no matter its final shape.
RavePoetry Foundation\"Just as The Carrying is perhaps Limón’s most intimate view of the body, it’s also her most external view of America, a country in turmoil ... Though The Carrying indicates an artist at odds with her body, the myths of womanhood, and America at large, Limón nonetheless carries the little lights of the world alongside her pain ... What Limón carries throughout these poems is intense attention and devotion to art. Her new work suggests that this is an imperfect but nonetheless essential salve to a shaken body and a disordered world.\