Lee Slonimsky’s unique talents—a lyric voice, an affinity for mathematics and science, a playful way with language, and a passion for the natural world—combine with kaleidoscopic beauty in his new book of poems. Tibbetts Brook Park, 1953 is rich with small, precise observation about the larger world while highlighting a number of recurring obsessions—dragonflies, gnats, birds, and chicory—including a stunning sequence of sonnet-based poems about the life of Pythagoras. Slonimsky has a deft touch with rhyme and meter and a deep thirst for answers: “Where else did petal numbers come from? (Seventeen or eighteen, twenty-one; erratic but specific, mostly prime)”. This is an unexpected and revelatory book from an exceptionally gifted poet.
Liza Bennett, author of Bleeding Heart
Lee Slonimsky…wears his enchantment with the workings of the universe like a second skin…is friends with light itself.
Sharon Israel, host of the radio program Planet Poet–Words in Space, WIOX 91.3 FM the Catskills, author of Voice Lesson from Post Traumatic Press
Slonimsky thinks in green, always. In his poetry he performs what he variously calls “treemath,”“nature-math,”or the “math of flower petals.” Green’s pure source.
Barbara Ungar, author of Save Our Ship, winner of the Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press. Her chapbook, EDGE, is forthcoming from Ethel Press
Lee Slonimsky’s new collection contains numerous examples of formal poems that marry his remarkable ear for true verse and an almost genetic gift for mathematics; with rare intelligence he conducts novel explorations of Nature’s miracles, flower petals arranged in prime numbers and the wondrous geometry of bird flight. Slonimsky begins with his earliest childhood memory of entering a re-imagined woodland and expands his naturalist’s vision outward into the cosmos, evolution and paleontology; the book concludes with a new brace of poems about Pythagoras, his spiritual ancestor. Along the way Slonimsky meditates on bears and birds of prey, seasons and swallows, and gives us a remarkable series of poems about the dragonfly and the gnat. In a single altered sonnet we are introduced to “treemath,” the legacy of Continental drift and the “shark’s geometrical fin.” His dragonflies, “those ancient mathematicians,” “have parabolas/ in their potent blood.” There is no one else writing about nature today who combines such close looking with almost mystical speculation and scientific data. Among many highlights, Slonimsky enacts a gentle political stance in “King Geography,” writes “Shining,” a wonderful triolet for his wife, and creates a poem of absolute magic and mystery, “The Living Dust,” a masterful break dance into free verse.
Michael Salcman, M.D., editor of Poetry in Medicine (Persea Books, 2015) and author of A Prague Spring, Before & After (2016), winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press
Lee Slonimsky’s latest collection of poems offers the reader a lifetime of accumulated wisdom through a series of gentle, profound meditations. This philosopher offers penetrating insights through simple, incisive words. His thoughts encompass the totality of time from the Big Bang to the perpetually elusive present second. Space is given comparable thought—ranging from the universe to the gnat (“...royal gnat... you’re my hero... Your concentricities in air amaze.”) All nature is respected. Observations concerning trees, dragon flies, birds and other companions found in our world are acknowledged and celebrated. These poems convey a reverence for all life.
E. Ward Smith, Poets House board member.
Grolier Club Poetry Evening host
Lee Slonimsky has published nine collections of poetry. His third book, Pythagoras in Love, has been translated into French by the poet Elizabeth J. Coleman, and is currently being translated into modern Greek by the poet Stamatis Polenakis. With his wife, Hammett and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning novelist Carol Goodman, Lee has co-authored the Black Swan Rising trilogy. Lee is also a hedge fund manager who invests on behalf of the welfare and humane treatment of animals.