"Blood to Fruit, by Tayve Neese, is a book of scent and bleat and moan and ripple and every other human sense that every mother looses to God. Open this book to any page and find your senses awakened. Indeed, this is a book whose ambition is to turn a soiled thing holy. to find the arc of your belly, / your bold milk to open our eyes and throats. Why such attention to the senses, one may ask? Why speak- and with such passion- the language of the body? 'A single screw of flesh / is all that pins the soul' Dickinson taught us, and Tayve Neese is fully aware of that. She is a poet whose ear is marvelous and whose spell is brave. This is a gorgeous book."
"Fierce and unsettling, the poems in Blood to Fruit are filled with primal grief and a powerful drive toward toward life that spans many times and places. The landscape is one of scarcity but with returning images of womanhood and fertility- egg, moon, fruit, womb- and the language roots itself powerfully in universal elements (Red moon, a rotting ibis egg / I still wait for hatch and flight / sound of plumage...). Often implicating the reader (you) in their mysterious, often violent imagery, the poems then turn to a more tender, biographical territory. These are poems that will wake you to another world, the one inside this one. A stunning debut."
"Tayve Neese's Blood to Fruit is made of poems that are taut, precisely built words, almost every one of them somehow both ravishing and haunting, stunning and foreboding. So many of the poems are about birth, motherhood or daughterhood- but wherever there's birth, lest we forget, there's death, looming just outside the door. Neese writes, The ground will swallow you / because it is hungry. That's about right. Something reckless about these poems. Something wild and awful. And something utterly beautiful too."
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