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James LongenbachVellum is more a collection of occasions than a unified performance, but its best poems both describe and embody these paradoxes in richly textured language. While eschewing traditional forms, Donovan's poems are viscerally formal: his lines are echo chambers in which syllables chime and grate against one another, making us constantly aware that we are experiencing something made—not just a recounting of prior experience but an event in language on the page: "A cut, an incision, a gouge." These insistent rhythms give pleasure because they also feel ominous.
—The New York Times