“…she combines Handmaid’s Tale & mad science with the meaningful meaningless dialogue of politics & propaganda…”

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Daniel Borzutzky, 2016 National Book Award Winner (Poetry):

“It is strange to occupy the world of Lina ramona Vitkauskas’ poems, a world where beef takes nebulous forms, Jacques Derrida and Batman speculatively coincide, where cumin forms into fists, where W.H. Auden sets things on fire, while Sartre cowboys ride into a present tense that combines the Handmaid’s Tale with mad science with the meaningful meaningless dialogue of politics and propaganda. But while these poems are filled with wild images, they are also subtle in their devious shifts and proclamations. The dream capsules of amazing nothings of this book are, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens, both there and not there. These poems are fun, soothingly frantic, and optimistically generous.”

More notable quotes…

Sandra Simonds, Winner, Akron Poetry Prize (2015):

“Splendid, grotesque, violent, but always loving, Lina ramona writes like a contemporary Marina Tsvetaeva through a landscape of the uncertain and surreal; the language is made from the nervousness and energy of every bee in the hive. Part ‘rotten aorta’ and part ‘snapdragon wine’, the poems in HONEY IS A SHE form a buzzing network of inventive beauty.”

Bill Knott:

“You’ve discovered/invented a unique new kind of mode in the cinepoem genre — bravo…your method in writing the ‘film ekphrastics’ is unique, innovative, and I’ve never read of anyone else doing it before you…” 

Jill Magi, author of LABOR (Nightboat Books):

“If film is linear, the ultimate time-based medium, during which we are supposed to listen and watch attentively, passively, Lina’s poems in A Neon Tryst talk back. These poems create simultaneity, layers, and distillations toward new narrative logics like ‘Let’s laugh until panties.’ Vitkauskas is watching for the poem in the film, writing her own subtitles (deliciously peculiar subtitles) and in their irreverence they are expansive, wise, and sometimes very funny. Her playful gestures in the face of the tightly choreographed imprint of film create incidental and embodied new texts, and this may very well be a feminist enterprise in its daring, toppling film’s male gaze with ‘I have to half you.’ “

Chuck Stebelton, Winner, Tougher Disguises Jack Spicer Award (2005):

Shooting Dead Films with Poets is an improbable treasure. These fourteen poems call out to Cocteau and draw from the gamut spanning Georgic bees and a Chicago found to be antipodal to the Volga. Subtitles twine immaculately. They invoke a Cyrillic voyeur penning captions for a movie that knows its own Democracy. This is a run of great poems made by great lines, a sequence of gracious acts in which Vitkauskas drops names like Galileo dropped the orange.”

Denise Duhamel, Guest Editor, Best American Poetry (2013):

“Lina ramona Vitkauskas’ poetry is richly textured and layered, a palimpsest pleasure. In THE RANGE OF YOUR AMAZING NOTHING, Ashbery and Superman, Lorca and Jacqueline Bisset, Nancy (the comic strip character) and Forrest Gander all coexist and inform her most amazing verse. While the bright surface of her poetry employs humor and kitsch, the dazzling underside confronts of intolerance and terrorism with a wise brilliance.”

Simone Muench, Suture (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) + 2019 Illinois Arts Council Finalist):

“Vitkauskas’ poems possess the intricate peculiarity of honeycombs and Schiaparelli dresses, as she exquisitely fashions poems out of scientific particulars, cinematic references (‘they place the horse head in the bed’), and metaphors’ associative logic. ‘These girls are brave tailors in the blur of impossible femme,’ and like her own subject, Vitkauskas is fearless as she navigates, interrogates, and ultimately, dislocates conventional gender dynamics: ‘I rip the itch from gender.’ The dynamism, humor, and marvel of her poems recall the surrealist Joyce Mansour, conveying a similar tenor as they negotiate desire and disease, ardor and animosity, with beehive fervor. Be stung and sung in the ‘golden / drip science’ of her resplendent poems.”

Rachael Levitsky, founder and co-director of Belladonna:

“Lina ramona Vitkauskas writes a class of ‘found’ poetry that I will dub ‘found memory’ as she culls the rooms of the poems of the poets to whom she dedicates and finds word objects that make matter (see “Einstein’s Shoes”!) out of historical and spatial distance. Tender, defiant and fun, these poems are making it new.”

Johannes Göransson, The Sugar Book (Tarpaulin Sky, 2015) + co-editor, Action Books & Action, Yes: 

“The ‘trysts’ of Lina Vitkauskas’ book are shot through with ‘neon’—that is, they are saturated with chemicals, textures, atmosphere, and media. According to this synthetic cosmology, ‘In an affair/arms laugh,/they become sheer.’ That is to say, they—arms, bodies, weapons, trysts—become both medium and adjective, both see-through and material. As in Antonioni’s great films, the body is clothes and the clothes are part of the visual atmosphere. A dress moves through a toxic landscape, or a ‘toxic love.’ The ‘trysts’ are movies, fantasies, art. Vitkauskas is ‘surreal, primitive, impressionist, whatever.’ ”

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