Judith Baumel



“The passionate and personal poems in Now, Judith Baumel’s second collection, often unfold in long sentences that picture the world in sometimes harsh detail. But if they reflect an essentially troubled view of life, they also articulate a readiness to be astonished by beauty and heartened by love.”
—Jonathan Aaron, The Boston Globe

“Judith Baumel’s intelligent and beautifully made poems bear witness to the dense interconnectedness of things. Baumel somehow manages to be a mistress of metaphor, a plain-spoken observer, and a meditative poet at the same time. In her work, each lived moment Now is more than just itself; rather, travel friendship, family, art, death, history, cities are all enriched with antecedent and echoes, not to mention vivid imagery. I always look forward to this poet’s work.”
—Rachel Hadas

“Judith Baumel is one of the most gifted younger poets writing in this country. I think Now is a tough and impressive work of art and I like the way that it is ferocious and tender and plainspoken and much more artful than it looks.”
—Robert Hass

“Unlike much of contemporary poetry, Baumel’s meditative poems succeed in moving beyond the self without becoming either unbearably politically correct, or hopelessly mired in grandiosity and pretension… The poet Mary Karr once said that poetry’s aim is ‘to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.’ Baumel triumphs on both counts as she makes an uneasy truce with a world she finds impossible to accept.”
—Robert McDowell in The Hudson Review

book-weightThe Weight of Numbers

“No more than Auden is she embarrassed by thought, freshly formulated statement, which erupts from her imagery with considerable force.  Yet all this diversity is under the control of a consistent sensibility—one can hear the personal note throughout the book. The richness of her language identifies the richly emerging poet, as does a love poem (“Roche Moutonnees”) shoes impact comes from the poet’s celebration of the transforming power of metaphor.  For the delight of a reader of many first-book manuscripts, and surely for the pleasure of her readers-to-come, along with her talent and skill she has an interesting mind.”
—From the citation by Mona Van Duyn

“In her exact, impassioned poems Judith Baumel gives us, again and again, full weight and full measure.  I’m grateful for the unstinting pleasures of this wonderful book.”
—William Matthews

“The weight of numbers has a proper gravity to it: the seriousness of its subjects and of its attention.  But the poems also accelerate with surprises (imagine Jane Austen at the Roman baths!) and a rhythmic buoyancy.  The reader is carried confidently along.  Baumel never loses her balance.”
— J. D. McClatchy