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Joel BrouwerNotley's recognizable subjects—among them personal losses, the malfeasance of politicians, gender inequality, the failings of language—aren't particularly new or surprising, for her or anyone else. The radical freshness of her poems stems not from what they talk about, but how they talk, in a stream-of-consciousness style that both describes and dramatizes the movement of the poet's restless mind, leaping associatively from one idea or sound to the next without any irritable reaching after reason or plot. Each turn Notley takes seems to make its own kind of sense, though after a few sentences you're not sure where you are, how you got there or how you might get back…it's easy to trust Notley's voice; in fact it's a great pleasure. Her tone—wry but never sour, generous but never sappy, politically committed but never didactic—acts as a steady and stabilizing current beneath the nervous surfaces of her poems, and allows her to say whatever comes into her head without the results ever quite seeming random.
—The New York Times