ryki zuckerman presents her work in lower case, and leavens it with a sometimes zany humor; but both belie the large and deeply serious vision. She ransacks a past that is personal and communal, encountering every kind of object in time, space, nature and art. She writes: “maybe this is the true purpose of objects:/to connect us to our past, to others’,/to awaken sleeping memories/and call them out to play.” Oh, that play—in language especially—a way to encounter at once pain and beauty, a way to comprehend generations of her family (especially her mother) and of all human history.
- David Landrey, author of Consciousness Suite (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2008)
The poems are full of intense images and feelings. One of my favorites is “the blue house,” vivid and direct: “I clear a space for her/on a shelf in my heart,/insert the needle/where the blood can flow between us.” “Frida braids her hair” is mysterious, intriguing, strong. The connection of beauty, pain, and art echo through the poems, as well as rebellion and watchfulness. As a red diaper baby who hears echoes of the cossacks thundering on horseback, killing all jews, she captures the loss of so many, in the past and in the near past.
- Lyn Lifshin, author of many books, most recently Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness, Texas Review Press, 2009
ryki zuckerman is a time and space explorer ... into scarred and starry revelations in looking for bora bora. Her poem “raspberries,” for example, is a brave and knowing scrutiny of colliding worlds, and empathetic poems featuring the Mexican painter Frieda Kahlo celebrate the intimacy that can blossom between artists of different generations. [Her]engagement with large concerns reverberates in “boys with guns,” a mix of reportage and urban fable. Much time and much space are compressed into these passionate, economical poems.
- Ann Goldsmith, author of The Spaces Between Us (Outriders Poetry Project, 2010)
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