“In her best book yet, Donna de la Perrière gives us a poetry event for the ages… As the title promises, she runs the gamut from tender and lyrical poems of love and loss to the Dionysian madness of terror. The great setpiece here, ‘First Love,’ details the chilling life and afterlife of a rape as does no other poem I know, but there’s much strong work here, from the sonorous, hollowed out écriture of ‘I Am Trying to Say Fire,’ to the noisy consonants and slurry vowels of ‘Mock Trial’ — sound orchestration like Lorine Niedecker at her best.” — Kevin Killian
“Some books leave you speechless, and some books never leave you. So it is with Donna de la Perrière’s Works of Love & Terror. One senses how long and hard these words had to travel to form such spare, searing lyrics: clear-eyed, steadfast, unadorned missives from a body violated and exhausted, unforgiving of the unforgivable. At once abstract, filmic, and unflinchingly representational, this book is from ‘a placid lake/called never’ and is composed of lyrics disturbed from whence they came — a place of haunting mystery — could it be truth?… When there is joy, it is fleeting, cosmic, immense. This is the most necessary poetry we’ve had in a long, long time.” — Gillian Conoley
“In Works of Love & Terror, Donna de la Perrière traverses a landscape of bereavements. So often, loss threatens to overwhelm with silence, yet de la Perrière forges an eloquent disruption from rainfall and star debris. Hers is a lyricism charged ‘like a river that fights its own bed.’ Amid the threat that ‘everything//is becoming/erased,’ these poems contest nullity by listing presences — listing as though listening to what no ordinary ear can hear. The infestations of grief are everywhere apparent, but the poet’s reckoning with time and mortality overturn the very limits she addresses in an act of consummate resistance: ‘out of all//the abstraction, a flutter/of arrival.'” — Elizabeth Robinson
“In Donna de la Perrière’s sublime Works of Love & Terror, the reader is immersed in a close examination and rendering of the liminal… Poems capture ‘irrevocable/choices against a backdrop/of catastrophe’ and the magical mundane that is part of some of our darkest moments, the nuance of hospitals, blinking lights, cables, and anesthetized hallways. The angst of human connection is palpable and turned into prayer, helping us remember what is essential in our daily lives.” — M.K. Chavez
“Love and terror are twin actors which leave a host of (im)possibilities in their wake… These poems are light and news of the wreckage. They are the sacred shroud that marks both life and its aftermaths.” — Tonya Foster
Order on Sept. 1 from Small Press Distribution, your local bookstore, or (if you really, really must) Amazon.
Also available Sept. 1 at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and Moe’s Books in Berkeley.