Driving Yourself to Jail in July
“I have been a fan of Nicole Santalucia’s poems ever since I first read them on the Best American Poetry blog. Why? Because Nicole Santalucia is such a gutsy and surprising poet. And she is a master of the startling ending. I never know what she will say next. With rare wit and intelligence, she presents a harrowing vision of the worlds of addiction, prison, and poverty as well as of love, resilience, and redemption. Hers is a fresh, new and important voice for American poetry.
—Nin Andrews, author of Why God Is a Woman
“These are not drive-by, rearview poems—they are tender, hardcore graphs of the heart, smacking you right dab in the middle of lives ‘where the bushes cry’ and ‘children spout from yellowed linoleum floors.’ They are portraits of people ‘shoved in a back pocket,’ where brothers eat ‘prison yard death.’ Yet, as Santalucia drives us to jail in July with her carved memories of ‘sewn together’ lives that at every turn seem to gouge out our eyes, there is humor and hope—irreverence, even—in how her poems steal our breath while steeling themselves with life.”
—Tony Medina, author of An Onion of Wars