Whether paying tribute to literary icons such as Walt Whitman and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz or examining global and cultural degradation, Gail Wronsky proves to be a poet of sharp wit and endearing wonder. The crowning jewel of Dying for Beauty is “The Earth as Desdemona,” a nearly book-length lyric that alternates between meditation and dramatization, between discourse and incantation as it elegizes the earth and celebrates human intimacy.
“Dying for Beauty is a book that reminds us of the extraordinary capacity poetry has to return us to our own complex and constantly shifting lives with both hope and clarity. With this exquisite new collection, Gail Wronsky has instantly claimed her place among the most distinguished poets of her generation.” —David St. John, from the introduction
“‘The Earth as Desdemona’ is lifted always by a rhythmic urgency and a faultless, inventive music… Wronsky is also trying to think through the poem, to reason passionately through its issues of language, gender, fear and loss.” —Boston Review
“There is a melancholic yet jaunty tone to these brilliant poems… Again and again her lines gather audacity as she fuses imagination with inventiveness, a virtuosity of language with a cryptic and feeling wit.” —Gregory Orr