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No Magic, Poems by Leah Nielsen
Leah Nielsen's poems could not work harder to undermine the tempered perspective of their overarching title, No Magic. These poems, at once sensual and philosophical, dazzle the reader at many different turns.
"What is it that grief does to language, when ‘fatigue fills the mow
like dust’? What if ‘Gap-tooth and Tooth-grinder, the chariot
goats’ haul a story so unmouthable, untameable, unappeasable, that the
telling of it makes ‘all the words sound like lur’? Leah Nielsen’s
language is a hard-won conjury combining elegy and myth to create the sound
and pulse, the many pulses, of what’s true. No Magic is a deeply
moving, masterful debut.”—Robin Behn
“The magic of No Magic is that Leah Nielsen makes out of snow, fallow fields, flatness and nearly annihilating losses a recuperative, thawing thing. She casts a spell on the Mid-West. She summons the Norse gods to hammer a world into being and then lick it into shape. She does not miss anything in the tangle and flame of grief and joy. Like Billie Holiday, she sings of hunger and love, and through the language of these poems, we’re charmed from our fear into wonder.”—Bruce Smith
Leah Nielsen was raised in Norway and Williamsburg, Virginia. A graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Alabama, she currently teaches in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her poems have recently appeared in Cream City Review, Green Mountains Review, Passages North, and Puerto Del Sol. No Magic is her first collection of poems.
ISBN 1932339981, 88 pages, $17.00