From Publishers Weekly
Nezhukumatathil's fourth book is fascinated with the small mechanisms of being, whether natural, personal, or imagined. Everything from eating eels in the Ozark mountains to the history of red dye finds a rich life in her poems. At times her lush settings and small stories are reminiscent of fairy tales ("The frog who wanted to see the sea was mostly disappointed"), while at others Nezhukumatathil (At the Drive-In Volcano) speaks with resonance and fierceness: "The center of my hands boiled/ with blossoms when we made a family. I would never flee that garden. I swear to/ you here and now: If I ever go missing, know that I am trying to come home." Even as the poems jump from the Philippines to India to New York, they still take their time, stopping to notice that "there is no mystery on water/ greater than the absence of rust," and to draw small but wonderful parallels: "I loved you dark & late. The crocus have found ways to push up & say this/ too." (Jan.)
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"A farmer is devoured by a flower in one of the many beguiling poems of Lucky Fish
. That is the sensation I often had reading this wonderful new collection...Rooted in the terrains of culture, place, and parenthood, and buoyed by inventive language that is joyous and sincere,...How wonderful to watch a writer who was already among the best young poets get even better!" -- Terrance Hayes
"Aimee Nezhukumatathil's latest poems are again far-reaching in geographic scope and linguistic imagination....These are sensual dreamscapes of allegory and fable, but with a righteous bite and the razor sting of perception. Lucky Fish is alive with the poet writing well and passionately in a world she cares deeply about." -- Dorianne Laux
"...new words, used together in original ways, new perspectives wound around each other -- once, twice, three times -- in enlightening combinations, and new music, new sounds, new rhythms presented in a clear, searching, and engaging voice. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's poems create a captivating world of culture, family, and the earth." -- Pattiann Rogers --Advance Praise for Lucky Fish