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Praise for Lily Greenberg & In the Shape of a Woman

What I want most from poetry is energy and presence and clarity and invention and confusion and soulfulness and honesty and wit. There is all that and more in Lily Greenberg’s fantastic first book, a tsunami of such pleasures and wisdoms as to float us to a fresher world. “My third ear (my whole body) is standing at the bus stop of great seeing,” she says. Get on the bus with her—she’s taking us to where the new New American Poetry is, via the express lane. You know you want to be there.

—David Rivard, author of Standoff

Lily Greenberg is a wonder, whip-smart, navigating fundamental and difficult questions with grace and grit, insouciant ferocity, and untamed alchemical knowing. What shapes a woman into childbirth? A child into a daughter, a sister, a woman? Just how does a woman become? Be long and belong? Key the ciphers, and surprisingly mystical perspectives: what a girl scout knows, the dental patient, concertgoer, housing director of a sorority, the woman who goes to live in the river, the woman who has “lived in many houses, all of them my body.” These poems are bed-rocked in compassion and clear vision. They will teach you, move you, leave you changed and blessed, wanting to return to the beginning to start all over again.

—Mekeel McBride, author of Dog Star Delicatessen

Satirical, heartbreaking, friendly, familial, liberating, personal, a poet of sharp feminist observation and relationships and invention, for the body and against cruelty, a true poet from Nashville and a storyteller when it suits her lyrical self, Lily Greenberg writes some of the best poems around. With her fabulous first book, Greenberg uses the power of her poetry to break open the cramped spaces of imposed roles, and at the same time she has a performer’s glee and pleasure in shaping her own.

—David Blair, author of Ascension Days

In her stunning debut collection, Lily Greenberg navigates a culture of consumption that exists alongside the tight expectations generationally imposed on women’s bodies. Drawing from the expansiveness of water — and the containers we attempt to give it — Greenberg’s poems explore her body’s many shapes, and the memories and experiences that give it form. In this, she creates a new vision of abundance: woman as tree, woman as pool of herself, woman as ten women in the dark. Greenberg invites us into an anointing; she blesses with oil and flour, with swimming pools and Subway sandwiches. Through her poems of transformation, we become “soft as bodies, fluid as milk,” drifting along languid estuaries and tight turns of the river toward revelation: saying “yes and thank you” to the gift of bread is holy.

—Samantha DeFlitch, author of Confluence