more blurbs for THE WALLS THEY LEFT US:
“The Walls They Left Us by M.J. Gette (Newfound, 2016) won the Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, which is awarded “to a poet whose work explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding.” The poems within it conflate the natural world with human crafts and construction, explore false binaries perpetuated by limited critical thinking, and address issues of colonialism, education, and historiography…What is evident in Gette’s ideas of place are sprouting seeds of ecopoetry and the ideas that stasis does not have to mean standing water, that maintenance of a land and its peoples is work.”
—Kimberly Ann Southwick, Ploughshares
“She forms meaning from the implicit ways that the dead haunt the living and the explicit ways that life and the living haunt the lived…These facts accumulate to create a more compelling holistic meaning that moves from abstract coincidence to a singular event, involving the destruction for the sake of science of the oldest life form on the planet. Woven within this poem, the poet exists in relation to the universe, the eternal, and the particular…Ruminate on this question of belonging to and seeking to escape the three entities: physical, material, and ephemeral. Ruminate Gette does and to great effect. This first chapbook marks great promise from a writer whose skillful use of language reveals the mysterious tensions of life, the built-upon world, and the inhabited world. “I wanted to build something from the ground up,” the poet writes in “Theodyssey,” and she has.
—John C. Costello
“Few recent books have captivated me as much as Gette’s The Walls They Left Us. It’s provocative in its willingness to play with language and form and so often approaches the profound while circling around it in ever widening and diminishing circles; in Gette’s the profound is questioned whether it’s the whole of the why of human existence or the particulars of individuals and relationships which we recognize through our own particular pain, foibles, shame, and discomfort, and in landscape and place from the political, economic, and ecological violence and destruction…It’s a startling book. I recommend it highly…be prepared to be surprised and filled with gratitude that so slight a book (in terms of length only) encourages us to plod into the deep ravine of our quest to understand why we are here.”