Hannah Gamble writes perfect poems. They are full of wit, clear sight, intellect and uncompromising social conscience. There is an abiding humanism in her work, a clear way of rendering the dreamlike nature of conversation and of thought, and, all throughout, the vague sense that she's evolved more than the average person and can reveal things to us. This book is an event for anyone who's been serious about new poetry for the last ten years.
- John Deming, Author of Headline News
Intimate and alien like a long, open-eyed kiss, The Traditional Feel of the Ballroom dismantles the sociopolitical expectations of the feminine: brassy, sexual, bitchy, hilarious. "I am a smaller kind of big. Exhausted, rough, / ceasing, somehow, to be intelligent, // I must have decided you were worth it." Gamble's poems eviscerate the acceptability politics applied to being a pulsating woman in contemporary poetry. Gamble challenges what we expect of one another and what we expect of ourselves: "I have been less than I could be. I let a symbol be a symbol when a symbol's // not enough." Between myth making and harsh interrogation of personal, social inheritance, Hannah Rebecca Gamble is a loving and ruthless god that demands devotion with a hand that could slap and simultaneously pet, "I had the voice, I had the plan. / I had a bad feeling about it, I had the jokes." Gamble might be a holy person knowing that "if in this moment, a gray horse came charging / down Chicago's streets [she] could stop / that horse in her tracks and ask / for a ride. And be given it."
- Charlie Hix, Editor at The Anarchist Review of Books
I have spent a long time trying to compulsively dissect the issue of cis-men's pathetic violence as they subconsciously attempt to return to the womb. Hannah Gamble finds no need for these self harming dissections and is more interested in comforting collective wounds through profound perspectives on the everyday. Even if comforting the wound sometimes looks like reopening ones that haven't healed right to stop the infection. Her unflinching prose wraps its fingers around the familiar, taking a bat to the suffering we've become accustomed to. It asks us to acknowledge it. To question why we tolerate it.
- Seraphina Violet Cueller, Onlyfans @breadandpussy