cover image Neighbor


Rachel D. Levitsky, . . Ugly Duckling, $15 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-933254-49-4

In her second full-length collection, Levitsky (Under the Sun ) challenges readers with an expansive sequence of poems that vigorously dissemble and reassemble notions of what a poem is and does, a work that she refers to as a “spew, log, manifesto, confession—definitely not a poem!” Meditating on and inhabiting a wide variety of disciplines and ideas—from architecture to religion, the state to the domicile—Levitsky draws many unexpected connections, sometimes to dizzying effect: “In fact I was entering into a feeling of absolute chaos, and had to grab the closest thing I could find. I didn't want to be excluded but my choices caused me to limit my involvement.” Levitsky writes about the act of writing itself, candidly struggling with the solitude that writing requires; in the process, she faces her own wish to be elsewhere or doing something else (“I want this to be a novel”). While the self-awareness can become excessive, this is a decisively innovative book; Neighbor is brimming with sharply reported discoveries. (June)