Bad Harvest

Publication date: October, 2018 | Carnegie Mellon University Press

“Even after a bad harvest, there must be a sowing.” – Seneca the Younger

Dzv0-Bad Harvest

“Dzvinia Orlowsky’s sixth book, Bad Harvest, is the book that stakes her claim to an oeuvre, her own territory in American letters. Orlowsky’s voice is stunningly intimate, perhaps because these poems really look outward. Grounded in the funkiness of family love, marriage, the body in time, they turn to face history—our contemporary vortex, and the nightmares of Eastern Europe in the twentieth century.” – D. Nurkse

“This collection simmers with the magical ingredients of an Eastern European medicine woman’s brew. Bad Harvest releases its potency poem by poem, entrapping and entrancing with its candor and Orlowsky’s deep-rooted intuitions and seductively quirky humor.” – Mihaela Moscaliuc

Like a hornet caught in a jar, there is our world buzzing inside Orlowsky’s prose poems, buzzing between words, yes, but also between silences. I started reading with these prose poems and couldn’t stop. And then: opened the village of her lyrics, where line-breaks’ bulging veins throb to a music all their own. Here, the streets are flecked with images, with feather and bone. Orlowsky’s is a world where the poet blesses all that is washed with saliva, all that has a pinch of salt. With these poems, the boring prose of reality we all want to escape is buried in a wake of hoofs. But what is this poet’s wisdom? Orlowsky looks back on this village of her days: Remember it, she says, for its silence // the hill where you staked your life.  And what, exactly, do we take from it? She shows how to go on: Thank you doctor, / it must be so, each bone depleted–/each wish revealed. It is, indeed, revealing, beautiful work.” – Ilya Kaminsky

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