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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Etter

Catching Up with Reviews of The Weather in Normal in Poetry Review and The North

At last, on leave from the university for a few weeks, I'm catching up, and it's such a pleasure to revisit these appreciative reviews of The Weather in Normal. In Poetry Review, James Byrne reviewed TWiN alongside Forrest Gander's brilliant Be With (Norton, 2018), beginning, "Intimacy in lyric poetry requires the conjuring of absence." Byrne continues, "Both poets deploy a deeper lyric communion with the notion of absence itself; sometimes the dead speak back, are not merely spoken for or addressed, but spoken to or with."

I'd love to reprint the entire review here--it is one of the most nuanced, appreciative reviews I've ever received. I'll limit myself to the conclusion: "The Weather in Normal is a subtle, laconic exploration of family elegy. It reveals a (po)ethical concern for landscape, personal as well as physical, alongside a consideration of the spaces inhabited by those closest to us. Etter's formal range--particularly in the longer sequences--holds our attention, emphasising, at times, the loss of language. The page is delicately constructed, white space speaks as content, the silent voice resounding in the vastness that is grief."

In Charlie Baylis's review for The North, The Weather in Normal finds more good company with Isabel Galleymore's delightful Significant Other (Carcanet, 2019). Baylis concludes, "The Weather in Normal is a sad and slender collection, a eulogy for things that have passed, or are soon to pass, written with depth and sympathy."

My gratitude to James Byrne and Charlie Baylis, Poetry Review and The North, for these reviews. They provide such sustenance.

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