Codjoe’s poems move beautifully between observations of the external world and moments of deep interiority ... While Bishop and many of the most celebrated white poets of the early 20th century often refused the first-person, masking their own subjectivities through impersonal, nearly scientific language, Bluest Nude insists on the personal. Codjoe’s 'I' is vibrant and alive, clear in its existence as an individuated lens. Wonderfully, this foregrounding of the first-person does not prohibit a sense of a collective, but rather enforces it: Codjoe's speaker exists within a constellation of family members and partners ... Alongside moments of softness and romance, Bluest Nude also examines immense pain ... Codjoe does not fall into this trap of reifying the visual: because Bluest Nude concerns itself with the moments of perception that serve as a precursor to creation, Codjoe deftly links writing with painting, photography, and sculpture. She shows us that across these forms, the observation of the self and others is a practice to be honed, to be employed with compassion and rigor. Codjoe’s speaker considers whom she lets view her, and whom in turn she views, a necessary counter to a world filled with violent sight, in the form of surveillance and oppressive documentation experienced by Black Americans...Such work is a privilege to read.
... a work of careful, exquisite precision ... The collection’s organizing principle can feel a bit injudicious at times, with some poems easily bleeding into the next while others feel like slamming into a wall, but the potency of Codjoe’s language and keenness of her thematic renderings never fails to enthrall. Fiercely intelligent and both emotionally and formally rich.