The New York Times
A Form of Optimismby Roy Jacobstein, Lucia Perillo
Filtered through the twin lenses of human history and personal memory, and suffused with ironic appreciation, A Form of Optimism engages in a prismatic meditation on beauty and evil, cornucopia and loss. The book becomes a lyrical mosaic, its compelling poems the broken pieces: sharp-edged and colorful, translucent, evocative. Drawing on the author's cross-cultural work in international health, the poems range widely and naturally across setting, personage, and tongue--from Istanbul to Detroit, Mother Teresa to Gorm the Old, Swahili to Sanskrit. Variously anxious, rueful, witty, tender, and worn, A Form of Optimism transcribes an arc of compassion and hope, embracing the sublime mysteries of the world and the word.
The New York Times
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Meet the Author
ROY JACOBSTEIN's first book of poetry, Ripe, won the Felix Pollak Prize. His poetry appears in many literary publications, including the Gettysburg Review, Parnassus, Poetry Daily, Shenandoah, the Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. He is the recipient of a Reader's Choice Award from Prairie Schooner and of Mid-American Review's James Wright Prize. Robert Hass selected his poems as Runner-up for the Iowa Review's 2005 Poetry Award, and another poem has been included in LITERATURE: Reading Fiction, Poetry & Drama (2006). He holds B.A., M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the University of Michigan, and an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College. A public health physician and former official of the U.S. Agency for International Development, he works in Africa and Asia on women's reproductive health programs and lives with his wife and daughter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. LUCIA PERILLO has published four collections of poetry; her latest, Luck Is Luck, is one of the New York Public Library's "Books to Remember" of 2005. She lives in Olympia, Washington.
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