“Thoughtful, bemused, affectionate, deeply skeptical outsider.” —Dana Gioia, Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

“In a society full of rhetorical overstatement and a kind of zigging-in-and-out of all kinds of pontifical disguises, she’s got this marvelous, understated depth.” —James Billington, Librarian of Congress

“The music of these poems is every bit as seductive as their reasoning. Her thinking flaunts the plush, irresistible textures of organic growth; we’d no sooner disagree with it than quarrel with a moss. Marvelous.” —Timothy Donnelly, Boston Review

“These are fine poems that inspire us with poetry’s greatest gifts: the music of language and the force of wisdom.” —Annie Dillard

“Her voice is quizzical and impertinent, funny in uncomfortable ways, scuffed by failure and loss. Her mastery, like Emily Dickinson’s, has some awkwardness in it, some essential gawkiness that draws you close . . . you can’t help consuming [her] poems quickly, the way you are supposed to consume freshly made cocktails: while they are still smiling at you. But you immediately double back–what was that?–and their moral and intellectual bite blindsides you.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times

“She is among the geniuses.” —Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times

“Here is the truth entire, a poetics of restitution, the world put back together.” —American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets

“Kay Ryan makes it all fresh again with her highly original vision, her elegant, quirky craft. These poems look easy, but the deeper one delves, the more they astonish and astound.” —May Sarton

“Kay Ryan works toward an exciting art, much less sparse than it looks. This is natural history seen from an angle of vision that Emerson and Dickinson would have approved. It refreshes me to find poems that require and reward rereading as much as these do.” —Harold Bloom

“So original, so astute, so pleasurable are the poems in this book, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they’re still being read long after current critical fashions are dated.” —Andrew Frisardi, Poetry

“If the job of poetry is to distill language and experience, there are few greater contemporary masters of the form than Ryan . . . [Her work] never fails to surprise, enlighten and delight.” —Carmela Ciuraru, Newsday


Appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 2008

Elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006

Recipient of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, and three Pushcart Prizes

Named on the “It List” by Entertainment Weekly