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Reviews and things of that nature!

16th Annual Debut Poets

10 poetry debut books of 2020

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The Best Poetry of 2020

Dec. 12 article by Elisa Gabbert about poetry books of 2020

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Poet of the Week

Brooklyn Poets

Read "Misunderstood" and interview here


Sometimes, the Funny Thing About Poetry Is the Poems

"Humor can be used as a defense mechanism, but it’s also a reclamation of control — a refusal to be told how to feel about your own lived (and relived) experience." October 2, 2020

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The APR Podcast Ep. 5: Chessy Normile & Great First Books

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Chessy Normile Awarded the 2020 APR/Honickman First Book Prize

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"The moving nature of Twitter literature"

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Excerpt from Li-Young Lee's Introduction:

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Choosing “Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party,” I single out for attention a mind that is not only smart, curious, and original, but one that I feel is genuinely daemonized, “touched,” and authentically weird. I choose a voice that is heartbroken, vulnerable, enraged, tender, and hilarious.

Notebook and Pen

(I keep putting these stars and hearts in b/c I am confused about how to edit this website)

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Chessy Normile’s first book of poems is so affable that it is a shock to find violence, weather, soap, weeds, birds, Albert Camus, the Druids, and a cast of friends alchemized into spiritual poems. Hearing a soul speak lovingly that “it’s terrifying to realize / anything all at once” seems incredibly affirming and compassionate. Given the mounting tragedies, it’s terrifying to think that we are alone, and that a natural, spirited poetry almost eluded us. Yet here is our emissary, Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party, to which I would add: Great Book. —Jane Miller


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"In Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party, Chessy Normile's miraculously disarming speaker is my tenderest, strangest, bravest, most vulnerable and most interesting friend. Like my days, and maybe yours, her days are full of things happening that are remarkable and mundane, scarring and healing, often funny, sometimes hilarious, frequently sad, occasionally tragic. My mind has never moved quite so marvelously as when guided by the gentle fearlessness of Chessy's poems." -- Lisa Olstein 


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Four-letter words that come to mind when reading Chessy Normile’s dynamic first book: wild, holy, punk, dark, flashlight, blasphemous, soul. These restless, digressive poems have surprising blasts of explosive humor and stop-in-your-tracks imagery, but under the rippling, talky surfaces lurks a fierce, devotional poet swimming toward re-birth. Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party is ripe with references to other texts, but these are not allusions. Normile doesn’t wear her reading on her sleeve. She’s not wearing sleeves. What she reads is right beside her, happening in real time, alive, available. Walk with this original young poet on a hilarious, painful journey to transformation. —Jeffrey McDaniel

Piles of Books