PRAISE FOR How to live in ruins
Lee Chilcote has written a beautifully crafted homage to Cleveland; one that manages to embrace the complications of both parenthood and urban living. Far from reverential, these poems are tributes nevertheless--suffused with a dark humor, clarity, and empathy that overrides the sometimes knotty reality of life in the Rust Belt.
-- Kelly Fordon, author of Garden for the Blind
What parents, saddled (however joyously!) with children can read these lines from Lee Chilcote’s poem, “Before Kids, We Owned the City” and not recognize themselves:
-- George Bilgere, author of Blood Pages and Imperial
Every city needs its bards--poets who want to sing their life and the life of their city in the same songs. Cleveland has had Hart Crane, Russell Atkins, d.a. levy, Alberta Turner, George Bilgere, Ray McNiece, and Mary Weems, among others. Add Lee Chilcote to the list, for his daily witness of our rough city, a "patch of blight to call home" that seems both ruin and revelation. In Chilcote's poems, which alternate between bemusing and poignant, "the city presses its tongue in your mouth." He helps me see this complicated city again.
-- Philip Metres, author of Pictures at an Exhibition and Sand Opera