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Bringing the Shovel Down

4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  14 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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Apr 20, 2012 Jonterri rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 29, 2013 Faith Gordy rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 05, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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.
Christina Olivares
Sep 18, 2012 Christina Olivares rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
extraordinary. cutting. title poem & its echo/mirror/alternate dimension version 'again' alone are worth reading.
Hannah Notess
Dec 27, 2015 Hannah Notess rated it it was amazing
The poem from which the title is taken SLAYS ME.
Christina Castro
Feb 02, 2016 Christina Castro rated it really liked it
This poetry collection by Ross Gay is dark and musical. Some reoccurring themes are love, a child, a tragic father, women, bombs, glass, teeth, breakups, nature, violence, birds and other animals. I had fun reading many of the poems aloud, especially "Say It" because Ross creates great incantatory rhythm through repetition. In fact, I was naturally drawn to raise my arms up, palms up, while speaking the words. I read this collection in a day, pretty much straight through, every poem aloud, and e ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Liz rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 02, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"Because I love you, and beneath the uncountable stars..."
Tricia Skinner
Apr 22, 2012 Tricia Skinner rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
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.

Sep 11, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 01, 2013 Decker Cavosie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-pantheon
The intertextuality is amazing. Provides great catharsis and a more holistic view of Gay's aspirations and purpose.
Aug 29, 2013 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Powerful, disturbing, & incredibly beautiful poems.
Aug 24, 2011 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Right book right time.
Mike Cavosie
Apr 04, 2013 Mike Cavosie rated it really liked it
It sure ain't Frost.
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Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. He is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sport ...more
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