"From under the El in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to her
window seat on the Harlem Line, Shmailo
is right on track with poetry that dances with love, death and desire.
The proverbial urban poet, Shmailo masterfully mixes the beauty and the gritty, in New York City."
-Doug Holder, Ibbetson Street Press
"Reader beware: these are poems that lurk.
evokes a stark, incisive view of the mad world where 'graffiti burns my thighs / and I run through the clotheslines that flap on the roof' and you will not escape it by closing her
extraordinary book. 'I will slash my wrists,' she
tells us, 'and from my wrists will come ants and tired shopkeepers,' and we believe her
Writing doesn't get much better than this."
-Jackie Sheeler, Talk Engine
"In these visceral wanderings into Larissa Shmailo's
narratives, we venture through the teeming back alleys of Brooklyn on through the poet's labyrinthine youth until we reach the trepidatious poetic psyche of a woman who has lost in love but keeps on gambling with a strength to envy and behold.
In Paran is not here to soothe - this is a book willing to discomfit and excite anyone who has grown too comfortable, inciting them to 'forget the right answers/consult necromancers/allow the forbidden/ignore the guilt ridden/unlearn all the learning/embrace this new burning.'"
-Amy King, I'm the Man Who Loves You
invites the reader to 'imagine a use with me for all that doesn't fit.' Her
poems, alive with discomfort and broken pieces, teach an art of compassion without illusion."
poetry by Larissa Shmailo
BlazeVOX [books], 2009