Issue 96 |

Playland: Poems 1994-2004 by Eve Packer


Donald Hall recommends Playland: Poems 1994–2004, by Eve Packer: "Eve was my student at Michigan, and much later my friend when I lived for a while in New York. It's one of those books about which people say, 'I couldn't put it down.' There is a liveliness and specificity about it, pure Manhattan, duly and boldly observed. They are not trying to be Lycidas (and there is nothing wrong with being Lycidas), but they are trying and doing something that modern American poetry occasionally does beautifully—the quick cut of American scenes, the words limited and exact, the poem and language perfectly fit to the moment. There are some Times Square bits that I like especially. By her poems, she is a photographer, and I salute her as the Weegee poet. Few of us have been able to write things so deft and accurate and modest and instant and exact and shocking." (Fly by Night)