From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This first book, winner of the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry, has the plainspokenness and unguarded candor about writing and ambition more often found in a later book by an established poet—think Robert Creeley. As such, it shows a rarer thing: a young poet in thrall to the promise of being a poet and taking that as his topic. Teicher, an associate editor at PW
, quotes E.M. Cioran—one does not write because one has something to say but because one wants to say something—and, in these 22 poems, he seeks his voice (Inaudible voice, silent voice /voice of my head), analyzing who he is hearing: a father, a mother, the voices of other poets—A.R. Ammons and William Bronk among them. Ammons, in fact, is unabashedly imitated in the leisurely 40-page Poem to Read at My Wedding, while Bronk's as if formulations drive several of these poems: As if// a thing lost or forgotten, discarded,/ fled, written down and revised, revisited/ were a cure for dead dogs.... Teicher puts his faith in the hypothetical as if, as if being in love with poetry made poetry, as if being in love made love. The book's title poem conflates these two—poetry and love: the room in which the poet's wife, Brenda, roams and works is also the stanza, which itself means room. Part of the charm here is how poetry and love are not suffered ironically, but gathered and won, As if the answer is flowers—a surprisingly sage observation for this young poet who indeed has something to say. (Jan.)
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"This first book ...has the plainspokenness and unguarded candor about writing and ambition more often found in a later book by an established poet - think Robert Creeley....Teicher puts his faith in the hypothetical 'as if,' as if being in love with poetry made poetry, as if being in love made love....Part of the charm here is how poetry and love are not suffered ironically, but gathered and won, 'As if the answer is flowers ' - a surprisingly sage observation for this young poet who indeed has something to say."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems is a beautiful and original work that appears to be, on first impression, a light-hearted and amusingly self-conscious account of daily life. Brenda (the author's then fiancée, now wife) is indeed in the room. Because she and the world are loved, the everyday is lyrically charged: 'therefore allow me to look / out into a world about which / I have something to say: / were I able to see it all - how / the trees really smell, how the wind actually blows .../ I think / my mouth would be too full / to speak.' ...As soon as I had read the book, I wanted immediately to read it again, for its pebble that is also a planet; for its one-celled organism that, to regenerate the world, 'sings the world's last song.'"
Paul Hoover, author of Poems in Spanish and Edge and Fold
"[M]any poems engage the imagination and do what great poetry should: remind us that our mundane lives, and the mere fact of language, are utterly strange and magical."
Marit MacArthur, The Bloomsbury Review