In her fourth book—a gorgeous call-to-arms in the face of our current social and political conditions—Lisa Olstein employs her signature wit, wordplay, candor, and absurdity in poems that are her most personal—and political—to date. Like a brilliant dinner conversation that ranges from animated discussions of politics, philosophy, and religion to intimate considerations of motherhood, friendship, and eros, Olstein’s poems are immediately approachable yet uncomfortably at home in the American empire.
“Is she just smarter about syntax, more articulate about human drama, more imaginative about eeriness, more insightful about sadness, more capable of turning a novel phrase, more engaging a storyteller than nearly all the rest of her peers? Well, yes.” —The Huffington Post
“Olstein constructs an almost impersonal, dreamlike atmosphere tinged with malaise, inertia and a sense that anything could happen but very little does. She is drawn to fluidity and transitional states; she is devoted to paradox, wonder and uncertainty… Vivid, arresting detail.” —Publishers Weekly
“Tenderness, then, is a form of resistance. It allows Olstein to create intimacy on the page not only among those who inhabit these poems, but also in those of us reading them… With this book, Olstein has declared herself a poet worth watching.” —The Rumpus
“Olstein places the mystical next to the mundane, bees next to bricklayers, purple finches next to garage doors, reason next to faith, chance near fate. She explodes theories of cause and effect and expands our notions of logic, symbolism, and the territory between dreams and waking experience.” —The Growler Poetry Review