Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Neil Azevedo


Copyright © 2006
by Neil Azevedo
Grove/Atlantic P
How to Buy

Neil Azevedo's introduces a shadowy world populated with dogs and snakes, suicide and children, sickness and satire, Satan and Christ, yet one doesn't feel soggy with introspection. Instead, wisdom emerges from these personal and well-articulated lyrics; the reader is moved by the juxtaposition of savagery of subject and delicacy of touch. The verbal and often gothic brilliance of the language is stunning. It's not often that a young poet successfully embraces meter, finding a refined, velvet-toned style, and creates such a stellar debut. — from the publisher

There is friendship in Neil Azevedo's vision. A warm tone flow. Brutal history is confronted with thoughts edged and graceful. And his dad poems are some of the best, most intense you'll come across. Good stuff! — Thurston Moore

Ocean is a remarkable first book, at once intensely passionate and coolly crafted. In these poems "God sleeps" while the stranded voice wanders in the dark, finding kinship in "the hesitations that coil in bats" or "the velvet drape of roots." In the "Caspar Hauser Songs," a bizarre and haunting sequence unlike anything now being written, he takes us to the very brink of the isolated self. Azevedo is the only poet I know who can take such discarded pieties and make them utterly new and startling in their sorrow and conviction. From the brilliant title poem to the lovely portrait of "The Bearded Seal" that concludes the book, these poems with their densely textured language and fierce feeling move us even as they bring delight. — Eric Ormsby

Neil Azevedo's poetry gets at truths we rarely see. This is powerful, disturbing and disorienting stuff of the kind that ultimately warms my heart. Masterful, efficient and singing with cold-blooded passion, this is easily my favorite book of poetry this year. — Jeff Tweedy

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