by Lyn Lifshin
Paperback: 286 pages
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
March Street Press
3413 Wilshire Dr
Greensboro NC 27408
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There's no sense trying to resist Lyn Lifshin's poetry collection, Ballroom. If you've ever been in love, if you've ever had your heart broken, these poems will be cathartic, simultaneously conjuring and exorcising the ghost of an old lover with words. If you love dance, you'll feel the kinetic energy of her language, respond to tangos, waltzes, and rumbas that strut through the poems here. (Read the whole review)
— Leigh Harrison
In Ballroom we have Lifshin at her absolutely most evocative, energetic, seductive. The whole book centers on “encounters,” guys and not gals plural, but Lifshin herself. Some negative encounters, but most of the time it’s a walloping WELCOME TO THE SEXUAL ENCOUNTER HERE AND NOW. As always tactile, visual, deep—psychological, perhaps Lifshin’s single most powerful book. They’re always powerful, but this one is screaming—not just for today’s reader, but down the road in time-travel classes about twenty-first century poetry that brings you irresistibly into the ecstatic,-squirming NOW.
Lifshin's poems dance us into/with a mad waltz, dipping and
the hesitation step the pauses ignite. Yes. I think of Bukowski, I also
think of Gertrude Stein and the women poets trying to partner, trying
to lead. But in actuality there is no one who writes like Lyn Lifshin.
Maybe a poet has written a few poems that have similar expressions
but there is no one who sustains, has the living focus or experiential
mood in varied effects within so many poems and each poem holds
the moment, provokes eternal, "…like a woman composing her self
like a licorice mare…" Our great grandchildren will be reading her
work. Lifshin parades her self in front of us and we can either accept
or sit on the side lines while she dances without apology ... Read the whole review
— Irene Koronas, Reviewer:
Ibbetson Street Press
With Ballroom, my 30-year addiction to Lyn Lifshin is reaffirmed and continues, unabated. Each new Lifshin work unravels, ravels and reravels me, shocks me that I’m once again surprised at the author’s depth and range. Ballroom is an invitation to the dance of Mad Girls, lovers, obsession, self-doubt, growth, regressions, transgressions…so potent, sexual, and thought-provoking in ways only Lyn Lifshin can plumb. This book tantalizes, lets us find new sides of the author’s voice that have been living in the margins.
Ballroom inspires the same freshness and glistening in me as did the very first book of Lyn's I read those 3 decades ago. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Lyn. I love this book.
In Lyn Lifshin's latest collection of discrete-yet-linked poems, dance becomes an exquisite metaphor for obsessive yearning and desire. Form and content complement each other perfectly: Lifshin's language is as graceful, physical, and organic as dance itself.
-- Janice Eidus, author of The Last Jewish Virgin & The War of the Rosens
A FEAST of a book....a very excellent volume for veteran Lifshin readers and a wonderfully wide ranging book for those new to Ms. Lifshin's art. I have learned long ago that there is no single "best" work by Ms. Lifshin...she is provocative, prolific and among the very best of America's contemporary poets. This book puts an exclamation point on that opinion.
— Edward Roberts
Lyn Lifshin has a new book of poems out. Ballroom.
I liked it. I’ll read anything of hers she publishes. I’ve been reading her for 30 years.
I edited a book called Adventures in the Underground for Pottersville Press (Postcards From Pottersville Anthology Series, Vol. 3), and invited her to contribute. She sent a piece on “Publishing as an Outsider” that talked about her days as a graduate student and PhD candidate, being a poet widely published in magazines that go belly up and pay in copies, so that, when you try to get additional copies of your work you have to buy them from rare book dealers as collectibles, gradually gaining recognition for your achievement, and being known by the small group of people who pay attention to such things, and finally having two books published by Black Sparrow Press, the dream of many an underground writer: Cold Comfort and Before It’s Light. Read the whole review...
The poems in Lyn Lifshin’s new collection Ballroom are vividly descriptive and astute in psychological insight. There is a raw beauty in this book only found in an authentic portrayal of human life. Generations hence will read this book to see how women felt in the last half of the 20th and the beginning decade of the 21st centuries. Read the whole review . . .
Lyn Lyfshin invited me to review "Ballroom". I am thrilled. This woman has been an addiction on my book list since the mid-seventies. "Ballroom" claims this addict's affectionado, her soul on ice on a dance floor spilling out in great great words that fill the page with a marvelous tete-a-tete for those who love romance, love poems, and simply, dancing with Lyn.
What "Ballroom" has is far more than what we read. Yes, it is a glamorous book. It shifts from dance to dance, for us, as we linger on the dance floor availing ourselves of secrets the author tells us about all sorts of lovers--partners. As a prolific writer, some others leave us at odds and cannot outdo the task of a book of poetry previously done. Lyn? With something new she resumes the business of the stars out there and reaches for more. I just loved "Hotel Lifshin". She does not go down easy. She is giving us what we want from her: deep psychological and romantic measures to wit we can follow her "ballerina legs" toward earthly pleasure in poetry. Something I find—knowing about it—a "read" in disbelief, a rendevous with a woman destined to go down in history in woman's poetry with authors of high acclaim. When you read her, you mustn't fight the words, just go with it.
I finished reading Ballroom yesterday & wanted to let you know how moved, inspired & impressed I am with it. March Street Press deserves big kudos for publishing the whole manuscript.
Do you remember my comment in the review I did of Another Woman ... that Godine shouldn't have condensed your original, much longer manuscript? I think this book proves the validity of that statement. One can really see the progression & the depth of the imagery & themes in Ballroom.
My favorite single poems, a grace note I think, is In A City Of Strangers. It stands out in a group of poems that are pretty evenly excellent. I always think your work is so even that way. Of a uniformly high quality, but then it's human nature to look for poems that go above even that high standard in a poet.
Anyway, I love this book & will try to review it, because once I start writing about a colleague whose work really intrigues me, I feel compelled to keep it going.
The book is very evocative. Your intelligence shines throughout. The only thing I'd have done differently as an editor would have been to leave out the last section Hotel Lifshin. It's not up to the level of the rest of the book because it's too redundant, in my opinion. But, hey, this book is a triumph, & I hope you realize it & are gratified artistically by your accomplishment. I was floored by the Jesus book, as you know from that review, & I also feel that the ones I've edited & published are right up at the top of your books, but I think Hugh on the back cover may be right. This may, be your best book! That's a hellava thing at our age.
— Eric Greinke
"There is no way to resist Lyn Lifshin. Her poems
keep coming, like restless dreams that put you
slightly out of kilter, but keep you entranced,
wooed, won. Her longing for the unreachable, the
endless itching for someone who cannot be
attained, wind through this volume of “almost”
love poems; the “Ballroom” is real, but the
lovers are not. The poems addict you just the
same. . . ." — Alice Pero (read the whole review)
"...Lyn Lifshin is one of our great living poets, which is a hell of a lot better than being one of our great dead poets. Unfortunately most people only pay attention to poets after they croak. This may be because poets are, generally speaking, seen as safer to society when dead..." — Victor Schwartzman (Read the whole review)