... feels to me like a message from an old friend who’s emerged, dazed, from a punishing bout of writer’s block ... Levin freely shares the self-doubts, false starts and dead ends of her return to poetry in this unguarded literary experiment. If this sounds emotionally risky and artistically gutsy, it is.
Levin takes a microscope to the most intimate of moments and memories while examining the perilous nature of the present, of what it means to age in a time where uncertainty pervades our everyday actions and interactions, and of what transformation, even in the smallest sense, might look like when one pauses to look at themselves in relation to others and the world ... carries the emotional and lyrical torch of its predecessors, and while there are poems that illuminate aspects of the effects of the pandemic, this is by no means a collection that’s simply a reaction to it. Rather, it is an extension of the thoughts and feelings when one becomes increasingly aware, skeptical, and accepting of the dangers present in plain sight ... on every page, we see a recognition of someone who has come to understand the world a little more ... While this question reverberates throughout, there is no doubt that Levin has made a statement with this collection, one that will bring any reader one step closer to feeling that they too are allowed the time and space for mourning, reflection, and most importantly, acceptance. Let us accept everything Levin’s words have to offer.
Levin’s luminous latest reckons with the disorientation of contemporary America ... she writes with profound self-awareness, spinning experience into meditations on how to exist. The answer is uncertain, but this terrific book will ground readers in the art of questioning, even as the ground quakes.