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Book Title


Author 1
Hailey Leithauser
Poem Excerpt
O ludicrous swoon, O blind hind-sight,
O torching of bridges and blood boiled white,
O sparrow, and arrow, and hell below,
O, she says, because she loves to say O.
                        —from “O, She Says”
Swoop is a sonically audacious first book, a ringing up and down the musical scales. Hailey Leithauser’s resplendent array of forms—from traditional verse to more fragmented, onrushing experiments—takes the reader to the heights of lyricism. In these poems, sharp objects speak up for themselves, sex is taken up alfresco (among other things), an enigmatic question is posed from To Have and Have Not, and the song of a mockingbird drives us out of bed. A paean to excess, Swoop is a virtuosic and exhilarating debut.

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Winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award from the Poetry Foundation

About the Author

Hailey  Leithauser
Credit: Sandra Beasley
Hailey Leithauser’s poetry has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Poetry, and in the Best American Poetry and Best New Poets anthologies. She has received numerous awards, including a Discovery/The Nation Award, and an independent artists grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. She lives in the Maryland suburbs near Washington, DC.

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  • "Poets do not come much lighter than Hailey Leithauser, whose first book is nearly Baroque. . . in its playfulness, its confections of wordplay. . . . Delightful."Boston Review
  • "Always clever, fun and alert to the history of its flexible forms, this debut at its best is a lot more than fun: it's a frantic argument in favor of obvious beauty, of ornament, and of elaborate jokes, as barriers against something like despair."Publishers Weekly
  • "Every poem feels necessary, because there's nothing haphazard about Swoop. . . . Leithauser has style to spare, but also substance."Los Angeles Review of Books
  • “Leithauser is frolic and bubbles, whimsy and chance. She owns rhyme and meter and strings them on a bouncing string. And she is smart. Every line is a surprise. How many poets do we know like that?”Washington Independent Review of Books
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