Christine Gelineau's Crave, her third full-length volume of poetry, provides the hard evidence of the world as it is, while bearing witness to the more we crave. These poems range widely in topic, tone, and mode, responding to travels and headlines, but rooting themselves most firmly in Gelineau's life on an upstate New York horse farm, raising foals, living among other-than-human animals, cultivating a large organic garden, all of which informs the sense these poems evoke of the human embedded in the wider world, for better and for worse. In this book, language—that most human of constructs—bears the impress of the longing for the whole and the holy.
Unflinching before loss and trauma, and compassionate toward humans and other animals, Crave is a profoundly physical book of poetry. Christine Gelineau's brave and steadfast speakers hunger for meaning, confront the mysteries of passing time, honor the vulnerabilities of the innocent, and discover beauty without sacrificing truth. Voices in this luminous collection might echo the words the author gives Vermeer: "I crave radiance like air."
—Lee Upton, author of The Tao of Humiliation and Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles
In Christine Gelineau's unflinching volume Crave, poem after poem bears witness to the evidence of bodies in crisis, power gone awry, the long dialogue of loss and desire that lays bare not only "the true worth of one's own skin," but also its true nature, its nerve, its revelatory grace and danger transfigured by the poet’s touch. Here the sharp light of the storied, the wedding ring of the widowed amputee, the "baptismal of pearlescent light," make visible our place in a story that remains, like a body, defiantly singular, summoning, unresolved. Everywhere we look we find the amorous in the elegiac, the "steel wind" in the leaves, our one true home in "their radiant perishing." A fierce and moving book.
—Bruce Bond, author of The Other Sky and For the Lost Cathedral
Crave reminds us of the "hard evidence" of our lives. Attentive to images of the natural world and through a range of voices and stories, Gelineau's poems at turns unmask the fear and failings that lead to violence and at others confront illness and death with a hard-eyed stare, leading to such paradoxical punches as this one: "it's exactly the fact that you could die/that lets you forget you will die." Yet "blessings" radiate equally in this collection: love as known in the births of children or in a long marriage, gratitude for the "gifts" of the present, and compassion as tangible in "what men [and women] do when they live up to what is owed."
—Shara McCallum, author of This Strange Land and The Face of Water: New and Selected Poems