Siken is so beyond talented with words, this entire collection is a work of pure art. It had soul and there's something deeply terrifying about it. I love the way Skien lays his words oiut and I love the words themselves. There's sadness, self-pity and a tremor of anxiety. Among the greater story of terror, there are themes of panic, self-loathing and my favorite, unrequited love. I felt it for hours afterwards, the love, the pain, the violence, the darkness. This is how poetry is supposed to make you feel. "Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These bodies possessed by light. / Tell me we'll never get used to it."
Richard Siken's Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism. In the world of American poetry, Siken's voice is striking. In her introduction to the book, competition judge Louise Gluck hails the "cumulative, driving, apocalyptic power, and] purgatorial recklessness" of Siken's poems. She notes, "Books of this kind dream big. . . . They restore to poetry that sense of crucial moment and crucial utterance which may indeed be the great genius of the form."
About the Author
Richard Siken lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is cofounder and editor of the literary magazine spork.