New book by Savannah poet Patricia Lockwood gets raves in The New Yorker and Chicago Tribune

The praise continues to roll in for Patricia Lockwood’s new collection of poetry, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black.

From BEST BOOKS OF 2012, P.S. in this week’s New Yorker comes this blurb from contributor Sasha Frere-Jones:

Patricia Lockwood is one of the few people who makes Twitter seem like it needed inventing, rather than being a new digital signal to abide. As @TriciaLockwood, she sends out odes to horny animals and historical horniness, often as a “SEXT.” As a poet, Lockwood is equally perverse but not as committed to laffs. Her first collection, “Balloon Pop Outlaw Black,” manages to be both languid and kind of thrilling. The voice behind “Yo JK Rowling STOP writing books about wizard school & START writing books about wizard JAIL which think about it would be even MORE intense” can also drive poems about books becoming mangos and dictionary salesmen whose stomachs eat themselves. Lockwood’s world is full of potholes and long rhythms, but it’s most satisfying when the ideas are big enough to make the punch lines irrelevant.

And from the Chicago Tribune, Poetry in neglect; Michael Robbins offers his picks for small-press collections you likely missed in 2012:


To her thousands of fans, Lockwood is famous for being the funniest person on Twitter. But she’s a poet first, with a Popeye fetish and a love of lilt: “the light is a lapful of limes.” There’s a savage intelligence at work in this debut collection of poems that compensate for their occasional self-satisfaction with an imagination the size of hammerspace: “a superscript hovers near / each head, th or nd or nth or st, they make our mere / numbers into Birthdates.” Lockwood is a tremendously gifted imagist: the gleam of ore is “like the small / yellow bird on the clean of a hippo tooth.” The materiality of signifiers bugs her like a duck run amuck:

The forest

is in a foreign country, all animals are possible

here, and all possible animals begin to appear.

The stage directions say: “The ‘forest’ is full of eyes,”

and the stage directions say: “The ‘forest’ is full of all


Lockwood’s loping lines follow a Disney dream logic and dance like enchanted mops. Bonus points for cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt’s incredible cover illustration of a herd of Popeye ungulates.

I’ve previously mentioned Lockwood’s appearance on the bestseller lists and linked to this article about Lockwood by Jessica Leigh Lebos in Connect Savannah.

I’m embarrassed to say that I have not yet read Balloon Pop Outlaw Black.

But I’m still pretty confident in saying that all this great press is having a positive spillover effect on the rest of the Savannah literary scene.

And what’s all this about Twitter?

Here are Lockwood’s last two tweets, as I write this: