Press for Love the Stranger:
Jay Deshpande on Poets & Writers' list of the 10 Debut Poets of 2015
The Guardian publishes "Topography of Poetry," on the making of Love the Stranger
Blunderbuss publishes "Topography of Poetry," on the making of Love the Stranger
Included in Literary Hub's "30 Must-Read Poetry Debuts from 2015"
Luna Luna Magazine's "40 Books Published in 2015 That Should Be On Your Shelf"
Three poems from Love the Stranger included in Boston Review's Top Poems of 2015
Favorite 2015 debut poetry collection of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
Through the wide-eyed study of beauty and the eerie stations of the erotic, Love the Stranger maps the body in its struggle with desire and absence. Deshpande’s poems treat love, kinship, and loss as instruments of our own awakening—tools that can help us encounter our own mysteriousness and touch new ground. As they peer into childhood memory, the end of an affair, dream dismemberments, and even Kim Kardashian, the lyrics in Love the Stranger guide us toward the truths hidden within the body.
Advance praise for Love the Stranger:
This is a book of great beauty and of terrible suspicion regarding that beauty. This is a poet of intensifying linguistic gift and of terrible suspicion regarding that gift. Is there, yet, an Auto-Voyeuristic school of poetry? If not, then Jay Deshpande’s troubling and gorgeous Love the Stranger—“watch yourself grow muscle in your failures / and hate it”—could be the founding document.
—Josh Bell, No Planets Strike
Deshpande tracks those moments when we become strange to ourselves, when indecision and failure wrench us open. He writes with a kind of glowing, dreamlike clarity about desire, distraction, regret—the ways we rush past ourselves, the ways we hurt each other. This book is full of searching and light.
—Joanna Klink, Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy
Elegant, dreamy, and hauntingly charismatic, Deshpande’s poems captivate the way the recordings of their patron saint Chet Baker do, insisting time after time that exceptional artistry can spin even radical loneliness and excruciating sensitivity into music that radiates and affirms. Provoking “a hunger become so animal” then tranquilizing it with “orchestrated moonlight,” Love the Stranger is a book, a shady neighborhood, and a mood that readers will return to again and again.
—Timothy Donnelly, The Cloud Corporation