Five Oaks Press

The Politics of Division–Emily Jo Scalzo


“Scalzo’s straightforward style reminds me of how the Beats might have responded had they been catapulted into the wildly contradictory arena of modern politics—an arena in which the inequalities and prejudices familiar to historians have simply been rebranded, and the best thing poetry can do is ‘teach us the song of America again.’” ~ Michael Meyerhofer, Blue Collar Eulogies

“In this collection, Scalzo establishes herself as a voice that is fearless. She does not back away from any subject. Her poems are political, but at the core of them, they are mirrors for the reader to see the decline and the hope that the poet sees in the world she lives in and fights for through her poetry. Scalzo’s poems are just what American poetry needs—a fresh voice who unflinchingly forces us to see ourselves through her poetry.” ~ Angela Jackson-Brown, Drinking from a Bitter Cup

“This book is a deeply felt lament. Emily Jo Scalzo mourns the abandoned ideals of America, first addressing Walt Whitman in a long sequence set in Cuba, then documenting numerous civil and political atrocities in the U.S., referencing specific contemporary events along with environmental disasters and personal observations, immersing us in the repeated failures of collective will and dialogue. More than anger here, I hear a sorrowful voice, sometimes teetering on the edge of despair, but finally returning to the spirit of Whitman: ‘Come sing upon the earth again,’ Scalzo implores, ‘And teach us the song of America again.’” ~ Corrinne Clegg Hales, To Make it Right