Are You Somebody I Should Know? by Dell Lemmon

Praise for Are You Somebody I Should Know?

“Dell Lemmon’s memoir poems, as she calls them, are strong rivers pulling you into their currents. Her poems are pared down and direct and move at a rapid clip without ever tripping over themselves. The clarity of their lucid fever reminds me of the poems of Tim Dlugos and the memories of Joe Brainard. They pull no punches. They are about being alone and getting older and set- ting out each day. They are about memories, lost friendships, friends who died, and one thing leading to another. Like the work of Dlugos and Brainard, they are fundamental testimonies of an age and time. Frank O’Hara said the poet had to go on nerve alone—that’s what Lemmon does, with verve, humor, and unadorned observation every word of the way.”

John Yau
Art Critic and Poet
His latest book of poetry is Bijoux in the Dark

“Dell Lemmon’s Are You Somebody I Should Know? is one of the most important books of poetry you will ever read. It will convince you, in blow after blow after blow, that you have missed so aching much of your life, haven’t truly seen it, haven’t treasured nearly enough all your friends, your loves, your family, let alone all the people you thought were not important enough to know, all your experiences, from the most memorable to all the banal-but-not- banal-at-all moments, your body, where you’ve been, your origins, all of it always right there in front of you and gone. “Perhaps the secret to living is to keep the fantasy alive,” Lemmon speculates at one point in the book, but in poem after poem she dismantles that fantasy with a relentless reckoning after the truth, “the story / behind the story,” that consoles you with a power that makes you want to live, fully, even as it makes you weep. You will read no more devastating or loving book in 2020, a year that needs this book like no other.”

Jason Koo, PhD
Founder/Executive Director Brooklyn Poets

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