"Must-Read Poetry: October 2019" by Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions
"Best Books of 2019," Book Riot
This astonishing, self-assured debut leads us on an exploration to the stars and back, begging us to reconsider our boundaries of self, time, space, and knowledge. The speaker writes, "...the universe/is an arrow/without end/and it asks only one question;/How dare you?"
Zig-zagging through the realms of nature, science, and religion, one finds St. Francis sighing in the corner of a studio apartment, tides that are caused by millions of oysters "gasping in unison," an ark filled with women in its stables, and prayers that reach God fastest by balloon. There's pathos: "When my new lover tells me I'm correct to love him, I/realize the sound isn't metal at all. It's not the coins rattling/ on concrete, but the fingers scraping to pick them up." And humor, too: "...even the sun's been sighing Not you again/when it sees me." After reading this far-reaching, inventive collection, we too are startled, space struck, our pockets gloriously "filled with space dust."
"Online, month by month, I watched it happen: a new genre of poem was emerging, but I had no clue who was responsible. These brainy poems didn't wait to spout off trivia, historical and scientific--'Pavlov Was the Son of a Priest' (a characteristically quotable title) recalls that 'the moon smells like spent gunpowder, ' then divulges some smoldering self-knowledge: 'I'm sorry/I couldn't hide my joy when you said lonely.' . . . [T]hese poems were fluent in funniness, retweetably jokey: 'I'm//the vice president of panic, and the president is/missing.' But once the play subsided, you found yourself moved--unaccountably, almost, until you discovered, reading back up the poem, that even the zaniest elements had several parts to play. What looked like a genre, I soon realized, was all the handiwork of one poet. Their name is Paige Lewis. . . . Don't doubt them."---Christopher Spaide, Poetry
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About the Author
"Best of 2019: Poetry & Poetry Collections," Entropy
"Best Books of 2019," Book Riot
"Notable Book Covers of 2019," The Casual Optimist
"Paperback Paris Staff's 60 Best Books of 2019," Paperback Paris
"Jonny Sun's Favorite Books," Bookshop
"'Give me more time// and I'm sure I could make this funny, ' Lewis states in this vibrant debut collection, an exquisite feast of the brutal and the irreverent presented by a modern voice."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review "The playfulness and creative flourishes showcase the poet having the time of their life in crafting this debut."
--Foreword Reviews "[W]ise and witty."
-- "Online, month by month, I watched it happen: a new genre of poem was emerging, but I had no clue who was responsible. These brainy poems didn't wait to spout off trivia, historical and scientific--'Pavlov Was the Son of a Priest' (a characteristically quotable title) recalls that 'the moon smells like spent gunpowder, ' then divulges some smoldering self-knowledge: 'I'm sorry/I couldn't hide my joy when you said lonely.' . . . [T]hese poems were fluent in funniness, retweetably jokey: 'I'm//the vice president of panic, and the president is/missing.' But once the play subsided, you found yourself moved--unaccountably, almost, until you discovered, reading back up the poem, that even the zaniest elements had several parts to play. What looked like a genre, I soon realized, was all the handiwork of one poet. Their name is Paige Lewis. . . . Don't doubt them."
--Christopher Spaide, Poetry "[C]olour and sensation, a kind of lightness that is saturated and warm and rewarding. This is what Space Struck feels like. . . . [It] is a collection I can only describe as existence in pure form, a warm, pulsing creation that wants to sweep you up and carry you away, a call I'd willingly surrender to once again."
--"Pure Sensation: On Paige Lewis's Space Struck" by Margaryta Golovchenko, Medium "Space Struck. . . gives the reader various gifts throughout it. And what makes the giving so tender is in the book's patience with the reader, its relationship to seeing and being seen, its imagination in what can be done with language and of what can be given. . . . [Space Struck is] one of those rare books of poetry that you can read in one sitting and feel full."
--"On Beloveds, Birds, and the Expansiveness of Space: Talking with Paige Lewis", The Rumpus "One of the best debuts of the year."
--"Must-Read Poetry: October 2019" by Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions "This book of Paige Lewis' poems plumbs emotions out of me that I did not know I could feel."
--Jonny Sun, Bookshop "A meditative offering on nature, the cosmos, memory, and reality, reading Space Struck is like watching Planet Earth inside an abandoned chapel. Like praying in a tree-house full of endangered butterflies as a lumberjack sharpens their saw below. Juggling the ups and downs of the animal world with the ups and downs of humanity, it is a book to take on a walk, to hold near a garden, to have nearby as you approach the blank page."
--Neon Pajamas "[A] dazzling debut whose title is a promise for how the book will leave you feeling."
--"Best Books of 2019" by Emily Polson, Book Riot "Right from the start, Lewis begins to construct a reflection of our lives in the Anthropocene. . . . Inextricably intertwined with this seeming power, however, is a deep grief for the loss of a world that we suspect once existed, that we catch glimpses of, but that eludes us more each day."
--"The Grief of the Anthropocene in Paige Lewis's Space Struck" by Emily DeMaoiNewton, Ploughshares "Paige Lewis's debut collection is a surrealist delight, a journey that never really ends, and is the kind of collection you find something new to haunt you every time you return to it--from the perfectly executed, individual poems, to a collected set that has been designed and structured so elegantly as to lead you through a true story in a way few collections manage. Congratulations to Lewis on this triumph of a collection; it was a true pleasure to read."
--"The Modern Orpheus: A Review of Paige Lewis's 'Space Struck'" by E.B. Schnepp, The Adroit Journal "Embracing both humor and prayer, Lewis breaks barriers between nature and humanity--bringing nature into our homes, onto our front porches--while examining how every-day life is changing and what we stand to lose in a time defined by climate change."
--The Arkansas International "Tremulous with star-pulsed stanzas as patiently alchemical as they are spontaneously acrobatic. . . [Lewis is] one of the most delightful, bewitching, and thoughtful voices I have ever encountered."
--Benjamin Quinn, Harvard Bookstore "Lewis writes with the immediacy and tenderness of Ilya Kaminsky, the wit and sharpness of Franny Choi, the technicality and precision of Sylvia Plath. The blend is, at times, stupefyingly brilliant."
--The Poetry Question "Paige Lewis' stunning debut collection is as much of a cosmic force as its title would imply. Every poem contains a handful of the matter that makes the universe--tiny slices of wonder. With this collection, Lewis explores the nature of the cosmos, the divine, and things as mundane as helping a beloved remove their beard from a zipper. Each verse is alight with grace and humor, and I can't imagine a day better spent than rereading these magical poems."
--"The Paperback Paris Staff's Best 60 Books of 2019," Paperback Paris "In this collection Paige Lewis explores everyday phenomena with a sense of magic on a cosmic scale, creating a universe full of tenderness, anxiety, [and] awe."
--Megan Neville, #TeachingLivingPoets "If you are holding this book, know that you are holding a work of wild and tender imagination. You are holding distance and saints and orchards and mouths. You are holding the full-length debut of Paige Lewis, a gifted poet whose words bring the light of elsewhere to this planet. I have been holding my breath for this book; now it, with loving strangeness, is holding mine."
--Heather Christle "I don't have faith in much these days, but I do have immense belief in Paige Lewis, in the spaces they create (and deliciously destroy) inside each marvelous poem, 'where we all fit.' Lyn Hejinian writes, 'The mouth is just a body filled with imagination. . . .' and this collection is a master class on the prosody of repletion. Lewis revels in cerebral delight despite the rigid contours of anxiety, creeping at each poem's periphery. By the end of the book we are looking up, not at the stars, but at Lewis--shining with a planetary pull. Space Struck is a wondrous arrival."
--Tiana Clark "In this mighty and marvelous debut (emphasis on the marvel), Paige Lewis gifts us with lush and provocative bounty on every page all while displaying their considerable gifts of grace. The poems in Space Struck read like a kind of alchemy I've simply not seen before--I'm so charmed by declarations like, 'I spent years living with ghosts/ strung between my teeth...they made me the delicate/gulper i am today.' After reading this lyric record of save and savor for this glorious planet, I am quite disarmed. I am quite undone."