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In the Time of Great Fires

Catamaran, 2020

"Alison Luterman’s wonderful new collection, In The Time of Great Fires, engages deeply with the world, weaving past, present and future to consider our shared humanity. Sometimes with humor, always with heart, Luterman insists on compassion, a recognition of “the slender, fraying threads” we all dangle from. Particularly powerful are poems that illuminate the lives of girls and women: a grandmother who left Russia at fifteen, then “settled into her fate,” the gun control activist Emma Gonzalez, “not ashamed, not compliant. . . yelling truth into the microphone.” Though the book chronicles disasters—pandemic, climate change, gun violence, threats to democracy— beauty abounds: “nail polish. . . the exact iridescence of abalone and new pennies,” jasmine that gives off “the white-hot honey of distant stars.” In The Time of Great Fires achieves a wise and welcome balance, like “a candle that doesn’t conquer the dark but cracks it just a peep, at the seams." 

—Ellen Bass


Check out an interview with Rattle Poetry here:

Feral City

SheBooks, 2014

"Fun tales of a late life romance, with all the complications that being independent brings to the mix. Alison shares her new found love and some of the conflicts, the pets, what the couple shares and more. This is fine writing with easy going style. The title comes from the experience with feral animals, one quite touching is about cats."

Sheri F


Desire Zoo

Tia Chuca Press, 2014

“I bow down to Alison Luterman’s poems. They will help you think, they will fortify your living. I highly recommend carrying ‘Because even the word obstacle is an obstacle’ in your pocket from here on out.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of There is No Long Distance Now and Transfer.

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See How We Almost Fly

Pearl Editions, 2009

“Here you’ll meet up with a scrawny urban rooster, a dying jazz singer, an old Arab man in a corner store, a small bully on the school playground, a child gymnast in the Olympics, an Ethiopian janitor, a transvestite violinist, an Alaskan moose, Saddam Hussein—and many more characters besides, each one another winking facet of the difficult jewel.”

—Ruth L. Schwartz, author of Miraculum

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The Largest Possible Life

Cleveland State University Press, 2001

“Alison Luterman’s passionate, original poetry sets my heart on fire. When the heat becomes unbearable, she leads me to the water and puts the fire out. A writer of enormous talent, she embraces the wounded world around her, and reveals herself to be a part of it, prisoner to the same desires and fears as the rest of us. Her poems are acts of mercy.”

—Sy Safransky, Editor of The Sun

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