The Uses of the Body

“Landau’s killer wit evokes Dorothy Parker crossed with Sylvia Plath — leaping spark after spark, growing to deadly dark fire. “The Uses of the Body” is her best book, its acerbic tone (“The uses of the body, illusion”) interspersed with lines of grave and startling beauty.”

Los Angeles Times
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“A thrilling meditation on the passages of a woman’s life.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“Like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, but for girls (and women): Deborah Landau’s vividly relatable third collection, The Uses of the Body, reminds us that coming of age lasts well beyond adolescence.”


The Last Usable Hour

“The poems of Landau’s stunning second collection are dark, urgent, sexy, deeply sad, and, above all, powerful.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
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“She is both confessional and direct, like Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg. Her taut, elegant, highly controlled constructions meditate upon yearning and selfhood… Landau reminds us of the nuanced beauty of language as, through their directness, her tight, graceful poems make readers feel as if they spoke only to them.”


“Throughout, understated themes appear, disappear, and return as they do in music, and Landau is adept at capturing desire with unique details: ‘There’s a little hole in my boot./ Could you put your finger in it?’ Caesuras break the speed of her lines, and she reveals a painterly control of white space.”

Library Journal
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“The Last Usable Hour might be one of our truest examples of serial poetry. Each of the book’s four sequences, and each of the poems that comprise them, stand as individual pieces and as chapters in a developing narrative.”

The Rumpus
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“Deborah Landau has put urgency into the often low-key advent of a second book—these beautiful harrowing poems are new-minted and young, but also age-old, broken and wise. She has found the perfect tone for her ‘city of interiors.’”

Huffington Post
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The intensity of the poems, found both in the potent imagery and language as well as the frank, emotional honesty of the content, makes the collection a compelling read….(Landau) invites the reader to be enveloped by the poems, to experience them as sensuous and tangible worlds, as expressions of a deep and dark and troubled love, both for the teeming, ever-present metropolis and the absent lover who’s the cause of the collection’s feel of smashed oblivion. Ultimately, it’s this sense of being consumed or enveloped by the collection, by its beauty and depravity, that makes it such an engaging and memorable read.

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Terrificly smart, witty, and slightly terrifying.”

The Best American Poetry
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“Landau’s intimate, lonely poems are profoundly engaged with the experience of the self in its starkest moments: when it is deprived, nocturnal, barely lingual. ….She creates a deeply erotic and resonant encounter between the lyric I and its solitude.”

The Boston Review
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