I have found myself flipping through it all the time (but usually when the twins are napping) for an impromptu shot of delight. The book revives the persona of the downtown flâneur — it’s full of nods to Prince Street and Cafe Orlin and the Strand — and reading it feels like wandering around that pre-pandemic metropolis that we’re aching to get back to. From a business standpoint, the timing of books (and movies) tends to be arbitrary — they’re released when they’re ready — but every now and then a new one seems to dovetail with the cultural moment. Love and Other Poems is an example of that. It practically embodies the phrase 'breath of fresh air.' It comes to us in the midst of widespread loss and grief, with faint signals of hope on the horizon, but it nudges us (if I can borrow a line from a poem by the Nobel laureate Louise Glück) to 'risk joy / in the raw wind of the new world.' ... Dimitrov’s lines are clear and conversational, and if you happen to detect an immediate and uncanny resemblance to Frank O’Hara — the flow of city streets, the openheartedness, the easy swing of the words, the exclamation points — well, that’s intentional ... Dimitrov removes the academic armor of convolutedness and simply comes out with it — how he’s feeling, where he’s going, what he’s wanting. The result is refreshing, especially right now. His city and his stanzas bristle with life.
If hope were an object, it would be poet Alex Dimitrov's new book Love and Other Poems . In its entirety, the book itself is one long love poem — to New York City, to the moon, to the many 'scenes from our world' — but it's mostly about what it means to have hope, even when we feel like we're all alone ... Pleasure, annoyance, boredom, spiritual awakening — we feel it all. And as the poems travel through time, the poet's vulnerability and loneliness are palpable enough to, perhaps deliberately, make the reader feel less alone ... What is it about looking for love and spending time in this city that makes Dimitrov's book a symbol of hope? This too is answered in the poem when he writes, 'I love writing this and not knowing what I'll love next.' ... Love and Other Poems promises that every now and then, love will find us. And if it doesn't, the moon — and New York City — will always be right there.
... a remarkable exploration into poetry’s most notable tradition ... a symphony of individuality, an extravaganza of self-devotion, self-sacrifice and, above all, a desperation for reciprocity ... These lines portend a naked ambition, one that would cause even the famed confessionals mentioned throughout the work (most notably Plath) to writhe in envy. Simply put, Dimitrov manifests a speaker so translucently absorbed in his own possibilities that not even love can obstruct his grasp ... The work as a whole, whose sheer magnitude and determination may dub it among Wagnerian, Brucknerian, and Spectorian proportions, is, on its surface, the poetry of New York cityscapes and the vast horizons surrounding them ... shows Dimitrov’s persona at its most audacious and demanding. The poems romance us into puddles, existing as small, hopeful moats amidst the dry, irrelevant gossip that circle the current universe. It refuses clichéd, trite aphorisms, no matter the stakes.