tough, complicated subjects without pretense or pose. gentle, tender, her's is not a complicated formula but it is almost impossibly difficult to maintain. i have been reading ellen lytle for years and have come to expect from her poems a kind of nourishment. she is pushing toward something, heart-breaking, something that can nourish our haunted and wretched lives.
mysterious in origin and sturdy, too, the poems of ellen aug lytle appear like undaunted flowers poking through cracks in the sidewalk. the surreal converses with the mundane in each. never forced, never miserly, the poems offer her wisdom casually and then gracefully exit the page. a reader is left with the impression of a friendly, familiar visit and it is just this carefree give and take that is her sensibility—her intrinsic subtlety.
ok, new yorkers, ok, world! finally, and at last! ellen lytle has unleashed the full dynamo of her decades in the poetry salt mines. I could never have thought of death is the soggy toast, nor could you. But she did. Now you can read her, and eat death, if you dare!
ellen aug lytle's poems give a very different meaning to frank o'hara's phrase: personal poetry—but definitely valid in her own original way.
—tom savage, author of brainlifts
lytle's poems are a poignant portrait of contemporary american life with all its joy and heartbreak.
—susan sherman; author, The Light That Puts an End to Dreams