In her latest book, New Life, Lambda Award–winning poet Ana Božičević writes, “For my birthday I want a cake/revealing the color of my soul.” Never saccharine, these poems are by turns cheeky and heartfelt, grounded and wistful, and above all—surprising. New Life is a book that is Dantesque in its ability to commune with the dead without becoming fixed in the past. Instead, the poems here have a distinct sense of nonlinear time, where each line feels like an ancient bone discovered, only to be reassembled into a chimera of another self. In this way, Božičević continually greets herself as a stranger, reminding us that in some respects every poem is a love poem.
In contrapuntal fashion, Božičević gets ahead of the ghost’s grim potential. By criticizing the critics who have lost their sense of wonder and see the world in clichés, or by addressing the parts of herself caught in war, she unblinkingly rejects cynicism and clears space for the central expression of the work: To become is not to know, but to experience want.
Verena Raban, Full Stop
Božiĉević’s poems appear as sketches of accumulated phrases that cluster together to form thoughts, narrative and sentences; poems that write the heart from the floor’s foundation, providing narrative substance before slipping into a kind of abstract.
Rob McLennan, Rob McLennan's Blog
Ana Božičević’s “Birthday” is a cunning defense of poetry’s work. This poem meets cynicism with determined simplicity, the form making its own argument via a spare and elegant use of repetition and surprise. Wonder needs no ornaments, only an invitation, and to have been born at all, “Birthday” reminds us, is a good enough reason for a party.
Anne Boyer, The New York Times
“Everyday People” restores mystery to what has sedimented into common sense—opening a space for questioning the matter of the daily from which, after all, eras are made. Where the idea of the ordinary dulls my awareness that I might join with others to forge a meaningful alternative to what is, Božičević’s poem enlivens me to a wideness of possibility.
Claire Scwartz, Jewish Currents
Championing the confessional voice with dynamic lyricism, Božičević offers sonorous texture, rollicking conceits, and unparalleled vision.
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Ana Božičević grew up in Zadar, Croatia before coming to Brooklyn, New York. Ana is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She is the author of Povratak lišća / Return of the Leaves, Selected Poems in Croatian (Hrvatsko Društvo Pisaca/Croatian Writers Society, 2020); Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017); the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013), and Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009).
Publication: April 2023
ISBN# 9781950268719 (5 x 7.5, 112pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268726 (5 x 7.5, 112pp, limited edition hardcover)