Beginning in a high-rise hotel and ending with a quasi-mythic suburban idyll, The Search Engine scans a dissonant, saturated environment. Kathleen Ossip’s poetry is word-rich and music-lush, lively, witty, and sharp. She deftly records the immediacies of life, interior and exterior, domestic and worldly, here and now.
“Formal agility plays a fast game of tag with modern urban women’s issues in The Search Engine, the slippery and absolutely contemporary debut from Kathleen Ossip, which slips non sequiturs and famous names (from Woody Allen to the Waldorf) into its sonnets, syllabics, macaronics, and other high-spirited accomplishments, including a Provençal ballade about Plath and Sexton.” —Publishers Weekly
“The poetry of nerves… is self-evidently, truly American, and this poet is a fine recorder of its devastating little complexities… At her acutest she is irresistible.” —Derek Walcott
“Ossip produces poem after poem that showcase a robust energy and freneticism; what’s all the more impressive is, that for all of their sheer ravenousness and ranginess, the poems that populate this book are incredibly pressurized and precise… We are with the speaker and we recognize the speaker’s world as our own, even if we blush a little for not having noticed it this fearfully and lovingly before. We are the richer for The Search Engine, a wonderful first book from a promising, powerful new poet.” —Gulf Coast