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Bringing the Shovel Down

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Bringing the Shovel Down is a re-imagination of the violent mythologies of state and power.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 23rd 2011 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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It feels like I read this book very quickly even though I read most of the poems at least 3 times. Not because that's my way of doing things (it's not), but because when I reached the end of many of the poems I would scream out "WHAT!" as in "what did I just read?!" and go back to feel it all again. And there isn't just one type of poem in here that does that, this poet makes that happen in so many ways....from the syndrome poems that made me think or laugh; the "love" poems that made me swoon, ...more
Faith Gordy
WOW! Very powerful pictures in Ross' words. If you enjoy poetry, you will LOVE this! Reading it was one thing. Having the wonderful experience of actually sitting in front of this poetic man while he recited multiple poems from this book was unforgettable. Everyone who loves poetry should have this in their collection.
I really loved Gay's first book, Against Which. I toted it around for a long time, reading poems aloud to anyone who would listen. I love Bringing the Shovel Down even more, which makes me ashamed that I let it fester on the "to read" pile for so long. These are amazing poems, and unique, which feels so rare sometimes these days. By unique I mean that no one else is doing what he does...or he's not doing what anybody else is doing. I mean, I recognize a voice in the poems that are uniquely his. ...more
Tricia Skinner
Disturbing, yet poignant, is likely to force a potential reader of Ross Gay’s Bringing The Shovel Down to hesitate to pick up this collection, but it’s exactly the multiple discordant strains of violence, rage, grief, and finally admonishment, that leaves one feeling somehow changed in the end.

I carried this book around for the month of February -- I took it to work, to the kitchen while I waited for the oatmeal to cook, on trains, to Chicago, to the YMCA while I spun. I basically needed to have it with me at all times. It is eerie and lovely, frightening and gorgeous.
I've had the pleasure of taking a class with Ross. Awesome guy and this book just proves it. His poetry is jarring and emotionally drenched in a wonderful sort of way. You'll go back again and again.
Decker Cavosie
The intertextuality is amazing. Provides great catharsis and a more holistic view of Gay's aspirations and purpose.
Christina Olivares
extraordinary. cutting. title poem & its echo/mirror/alternate dimension version 'again' alone are worth reading.
Powerful, disturbing, & incredibly beautiful poems.
Hannah Notess
The poem from which the title is taken SLAYS ME.
Right book right time.
Mike Cavosie
It sure ain't Frost.
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