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4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Reader, take heed: These are no ordinary poems about childhood. In a series of secular prayers, Cynthia Cruz alludes to a girlhood colored by abuse and a brother’s death. A beautifully understated sense of menace and damage pervades this vivid, nonlinear tale.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Alice James Books
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Sandy Longhorn
Feb 15, 2010 Sandy Longhorn rated it really liked it
Ruin by Cynthia Cruz is a book I first requested through ILL last fall. After I'd read just the first few poems, I knew it was a book I needed to own. This second read through proved that buying the book was the right choice. After I'd read the book once, I turned to the back cover to learn more about Cruz and also happened to read the blurbs. Blurbs don't usually influence me to read a book, but these two really do capture the book well. "This is not a book about peacocks in twilight nor should ...more
Susan Jean Cronin
Jul 11, 2008 Susan Jean Cronin rated it liked it
These poems are quick, mysterious, and intense. The book does not constitute a series as such, but the poems are clearly of a piece. The best poems here fearlessly attack questions of grief, loss, and possible family secrets, the mind behind them alternately turning them over and over and trying to run away from the answers. However, they can seem a bit repetitive, and sometimes key images come back in ways that seem to muddle rather than illuminate what they might mean.
Jan 16, 2009 Ana rated it it was amazing
I don't have enough stars for this book. I read it in two brief sittings and now I want to shout it from the rooftops, but it's too cold out. A great example of a poetry that defies categorization: I dare you to label it. Actually, no, don't do it. The images are so visceral and "on" that the poems give the impression they were written in a trance, were the language not wrought with such precision and vision. A clear midnight torrent. Can't wait for her next.
Jun 04, 2014 Rodney rated it really liked it
Hard as nails. I keep thinking about it.
Apr 19, 2016 Keith rated it it was amazing The poem "Sparks, Nevada" sold me on this poet and this collection. There are narratives here that are incomplete, yet it's possible to follow the speakers. It's sort of like a dream where the scenes jump from one to another making an intuitive sort of sense.
Jun 11, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
For the most part, tough little poems about suicide, drug addiction and the seediness of life. Not bad poems, but the collection didn't stand out as a favorite for me.
Nov 22, 2015 Milo rated it it was amazing
incredible incredible incredible.

"What I recall most of that overdose
Is the gorgeous white underworld
Galloping into me."
- from "Through the Night, Softly"
Amber manning-harris
Jul 09, 2007 Amber manning-harris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody with a bit of cynicism
This is a fresh take on poetry, feral and intrusive, Cruz puts her work out there for all to see. I am anxiously awaiting the next book of poems.
Diann Blakely
Ruin and ravage and danger lurk at the margins of every poem in this ominous, compelling, and too-little-known book.
Jan 11, 2008 Jordan rated it liked it
Good. A little dramatic, which made me skeptical. But Good. I enjoyed it.
Jean Callahan
Jul 13, 2012 Jean Callahan rated it really liked it
Can't wait for her second book, which is coming out fall 2012.
Thom Dunn
Oct 03, 2010 Thom Dunn marked it as to-read
NOT A REVIEW} Included NEBQ, # 1808, 10-3-2010.
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Cynthia Cruz is the author of Ruin (Alice James Books) and the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and a Hodder Fellowship. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, The Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review and others. She lives in Brooklyn.
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