cover image Ringer


Rebecca Lehmann. Univ. of Pittsburgh, $17 (70p) ISBN 978-0-8229-6595-4

Part eco-poetic, part confessional, the second book from Lehmann (Between the Crackups) transports the reader to landscapes internal and external with acerbic wit and renegade fury. Notably, Lehmann’s feminist indignation leaves readers with a feeling of wry endearment: “Softness is a chapped nipple./ You wanted broad sad bitches against your head/ like an electrical storm.//... The world is an old grave. Woman sparkle like cheap/ glitter from its bottom.” Lehmann challenges readers to consider the narrative of their lives and embody the natural beauty of the world: “Be the ecstatic middle night. Be the light through yonder window./ Soft, be the lilac branch breaking.” Though her sentiment is consistently poignant, the poet occasionally overexercises metaphors and stylistic choices, resulting in a forced sheen or labored wonder: “Why is the bumblebee yellow and black? Why does the snow recede/ from the back porch like waves of sadness.” Considered overall, Lehmann’s latest book offers readers a sagacious and kinetic whirlwind of unrest and gratitude for the world. (Sept.)