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Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune (“Best Poetry Collections of 2018”):
“Turner refuses rustic nostalgia, her critique of what William Blake called ‘the Ratio’ an elegy for the future. Mega-fires sweep through the garbage piling at the feet of a storefront angel: ‘couldn’t turn around and go back if we wanted to/ like handfuls of gravel/ the storm couldn’t turn around if it wanted to.'”
Publishers Weekly review:
“Turner dazzles in a debut of postmodern arrangements that challenge contemporary poetry’s relative lack of overt song-like structure. She sings of the unnoticed or the decidedly ugly; for example, there are songs of “household goods,” “insurance,” and “towns.” In “Risk Management Song,” she writes, “so we commissioned a document/ about sustenance and the city’s pores/ metaphors of food and skin/ for when the water rises.” Over the subsequent five quatrains, Turner varies the closing refrain until she ends where she started: “for when the water rises// gathered all of us around// glossy invulnerable tables/ to hear and judge a list of songs/ the agents recognize.” […] Turner just might inspire some readers to sing.“

"Lindsay Turner's ravishing SONGS & BALLADS takes account of colors, architectures, skies, and the many ways the world is speculatively used and re-used for short-term ends. When to refrain? Refrain now, hold back from harm now, hold on to the world now and now, these elegiac, mysteriously worldy poems sing." (Catherine Wagner)

"'The sunlight was prettier for its uneven distribution,' observes Lindsay Turner, alerting us to the collectivist imperative subtending perception itself. 'Oh share it, share it.'  SONGS & BALLADS re-imagines historical poetics - what's the ragged quatrain's job?' - as a critique of our unsustainable political economies. Employing recursive forms from the Medieval ballad to Modernism's differential repetitions, Turner's contemporary stanzas in meditation remediate 'a range of arrangements / demanding attention' for the continuous present. Whether it be 'the pentagons of space in the chainlink' or 'what the animals we saw never knew,' we find, in this work, a world on the verge: 'all systems go and some places broken.'" (Srikanth Reddy)

"Witty, mordant, despairing, yet peculiarly refreshing poems: Lindsay Turner has done the thing few can do - she has made lyric critical; she makes thought sing. 'Tuesday and I want an image / of the ecological condition / these raindrops just aren't normal." These are incantations of and against a seeping duress - with weird skies, ugly offices, bank holidays, ominous weather, bad feelings and wrong life. Her antennae quiver in this mood of disaster, as her poems become a 'keeper of our collective distress.' Songs, ballads, ditties, fractured meditations: these poems offer a countermeasure, a countersong against the modern regime of blighting calculation. With their beguiling and wrong-footing music, these poems keep time and keep our time; they are insistent, seductive, surprising. The ocean, love, a day's measure: are they 'nothing to us'? Are we 'good for nothing'? Keenly intelligent poems of dispossession and divestiture, they crack a smart whip in their ludic and paradoxically soulful deadpan." (Maureen N. McLane)

review by Devin King, Berfrois
“I don’t know about you, but this is how I change the words to Bowie songs that I personalize for my baby or my cats—slowly, inconsequentially, but then all of a sudden the id takes over and we’re in the darker territory of angels.”
review by Rob McLennan
“The idea of the ‘song’ holding a series of truths, histories and commentaries is, obviously, one of the oldest methods of record-keeping and composition, and Turner writes her own Songs & Ballads with that in mind, combined with a deeply engaged ecopoetic.”

with Zach Savich, Tupelo Quarterly
12 or 20 questions (second series), Rob McLennan’s blog


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