***Also available as an audiobook***
Listed in The Boston Globe's Best Poetry Books of 2012
If only I had been born
Instead of a monster
Go, brave and gentle reader, with Dorothea Lasky to the “purple motel / where the bird lives.” Go with her, as you have willingly gone down the dark passages before, with her bare-faced poems for guidance. Thunderbird’s controlled rage plunges into the black interior armed with nothing but guts and Lasky’s own fiery heart as guide.
Her blood-red realness howls fresh in the poems of “Thunderbird.” It’s intense, dark, assertive, timely, and true.
Michael Brodeur, The Boston Globe
Lasky’s third book, Thunderbird, released this week from Wave, follows her two previous works, Awe and Black Life, in an even more boiled-down, death-eyed way. As far as she had gone before in verifying there are still humans with blood and brains here on Earth despite whatever, Thunderbird is quite precise in the distance between those people and their communications...It feels good to read a book that talks to you like this.
Blake Butler, VICE Magazine
“Why do young women like Sylvia Plath? / Why doesn't everyone?” wonders the narrator of “Death and Sylvia Plath” in Dorothea Lasky's brilliant new poetry collection Thunderbird. It probably has something to do with Plath's acute sense for wringing the motion heart of a narrative—an attribute that Lasky is able to apply to her own unique poetic sensibilities. Every one of her poems...flits beautifully between the darkness of worry and the unemotional omniscience of hindsight.
Mallory Rice, Nylon Magazine
Even after titling her last book Black Life, Lasky's latest aims to go darker—more death-driven—with poems that can be as commanding and loud as they can understated and vulnerable.
...Dorothea Lasky is one of the strongest voices in contemporary poetry. She is a master crafter of words and lines, and knows how to create excellent images and feelings in her readers...This is a great collection for those new to poetry, or those looking for an up-and-coming voice to follow in the future.
Spenser Davis, The Rumpus
These poems can recall Frank O’Hara’s “Steps” and Allen Ginsberg’s “America,” and they can recall the dreams you had on Percocet when you got your wisdom teeth pulled. They embrace this corpse-strewn vale of anxiety, with its intermittent blips of joy...
Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune
Dorothea Lasky is the author, most recently, of The Shining (forthcoming, October 2023) and Animal, published in 2019 in the Bagley Wright Lecture Series. She is also the author of Milk (Wave Books, 2018), Rome (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2014), Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012), Black Life (Wave Books, 2010), and AWE (Wave Books, 2007). She is also the author of six chapbooks: Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2012), The Blue Teratorn (Yes Yes Books, 2012), Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), Tourmaline (
Transmission Press, 2008), The Hatmaker’s Wife (2006), Art ( H_NGM_N Press, 2005), and Alphabets and Portraits (Anchorite Press, 2004). Born in St. Louis in 1978, she has poems that have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Laurel Review, MAKE magazine, Phoebe, Poets & Writers Magazine, The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review, and 6x6, among other places. She is the co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013), co-author of Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac (with Alex Dimitrov, Flatiron Books, 2019) and is a 2013 Bagley Wright Lecturer on Poetry. She holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania, is a graduate of the MFA program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and has been educated at Harvard University and Washington University. She has taught poetry at New York University, Wesleyan University, and Bennington College. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts and lives in New York City.
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
ISBN# 9781933517636 (5x8 128pp, paperback and limited edition hardcover)
ISBN# 9781950268382 (audiobook)