Noelle Kocot’s sixth collection, built from the rubble and strangeness of everyday life, exists outside of time or telescope. Soul in Space is a masterful combination of Kocot’s intimacy of voice and authority over poetic form, and it leaves a brighter, weirder world in its wake.
...like a spacecraft, Kocot slingshots around her sadness into another, an almost Shelleyan, world. Soul in Space does not console, but it exhilarates, rising to places few poets can go, and finding a syntax—sometimes curt, sometimes expansive—to match its emotional velocity.
Stephen Burt, Poetry Daily
Part riddle, part reverie, and part prayer, the brief lyric poems that compose Kocot’s sixth collection inhabit a charged but quotidian space...Kocot arranges the ephemera of the everyday in relation to each other and to the self as though striking a minor chord.
So many poems in this book feel like they’re about surrendering — not giving up, but cleaning a slate as big as the sky... Tenderness: the one word I would use to describe Soul in Space and how Noelle Kocot is able to see and wrap her mind around what’s there because of it.
Michael Klein, Los Angeles Review of Books
Kocot’s varied approaches and poetic devices seem in tune and consistent with this world she’s created through her poetry. A world consisting of earth and yet also the weightless flight of the soul—orbiting and searching.
Kelly M. Sylvester, NewPages
Who cares if you or I can't place an index on exactly what's working and how? Maybe that's makes Kocot's work so captivating at times, so perplexing. She grants a rare opportunity to dive unrestrained into mind in language
Diego Báez, The Rumpus
Kocot’s work grapples with the place of the interior self in a world of exteriorities, of stimulus, distractions, sharp turns. “O my body, / Sit here with me / While I just talk” she writes in the book’s first poem; but in spite of her methodology of undercutting or ironizing her own language (“Yeah yeah yeah, but I’m serious”), this is more than “just talk.”
Jay Deshpande, Coldfront
If Noelle Kocot controlled the galaxy, Soul in Space, her latest poetry collection, would be a satellite beaming down pictures of earth to earth. That’s what this book does to you—transmits poems down like a saint receives a vision. Frequencies are set to prediction, revelation, image, and imaginings. All the while, the book is grounded in the subjectivity and temperament that is unforgettably Kocot: surreal and forthright in feeling.
Elizabeth Petersen, Sycamore Review
Soul in Space is written by a poet of charming peculiarity and wisdom and whose poems are authored almost entirely by a homesick soul...Kocot is a poet of strange authority, and even though she says less than most poets, she says only what matters.
John Ebersole, The Philadelphia Review of Books
In Noelle Kocot’s new collection Soul in Space, ambiguity and precision collide to dazzling effect. The poet’s mutable-but-tonally-consistent speaker narrates from the moments between the moments, articulating the indefinable by way of pivoting between razor-sharp images.
Erin Lyndal Martin, Rain Taxi
Writing about Soul in Space is like reviewing a prayer. Or something even less falsifiable...Dense lines with strong phonetic figures demonstrate her poetic authority...
Luke A. Fidler, The Economy
Soul in Space is a series of miracles, of lights and shadows collected as verbs and nouns, emotions delicately wrapped but bravely delivered by a true master of language; the raw or plain thing, made breathtaking and gorgeous.
Kristy Webster, Thursday Review
Kocot amazes with her versatility, her candor, her wit and her mind boggling associations, sometimes totally elusive and beyond my understanding, but so what? Reading her is an experience and poetry lovers should find this out for themselves.
Noelle Kocot is the author of many collections of poetry, including God's Green Earth (Wave Books, forthcoming 2020), Phantom Pains of Madness (Wave Books, May 2016), Soul in Space (Wave Books, 2013), The Bigger World (Wave Books, 2011), and a book of translations of some of the poems of Tristan Corbière, Poet by Default (Wave Books, 2011). Her previous works include the discography Damon's Room, (Wave Books Pamphlet Series, 2010), Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009) and Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems (Wave Books, 2006). She is also the author of 4 and The Raving Fortune (both from Four Way Books). Her poems have been anthologized in Best American Poetry in 2001, 2012, and 2013. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, The Fund for Poetry, the American Poetry Review, and a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, and she has taught at the University of Texas New Writers' Project and currently teaches part-time at the New School. She is the Poet Laureate of Pemberton Borough, New Jersey.