“In Leah Osowski’s exquisite debut, hover over her, the poet immerses us in geographies of unrealized adolescence, where young women are singular amidst their cacophonous backdrops, whether beside a lake, inside a Dali painting, or stretched out in a flower garden. These spaces are turned inside out for us through Osowski’s linguistic curiosity and unforgettable imagistic palate. Negative possibilities hang around every corner as well, showing us the ways in which we are also complicit in the constructions and obstructions of gender. As the speaker in ‘she as pronoun’ says, ‘she’s I and she’s you every / time you hid beneath your own arms.’ But through the evolution and renaissance of Osowski’s speaker, we find affirmation in these shared connections, transparency in the landscapes of growth and escape, and the freedom that comes from the task of unflinchingly examining our whereabouts inside of them.”
~Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke
Leah Osowski’s Hover Over Her is a poetry collection that works without a net. One of my favorite poems begins: “It’s like a lynx scratch. Like igniting ethanol soaked roots. Like being stabbed by an icicle.” An ekphrastic sequence responds to paintings by Salvador Dali, translating surreal imagery into mind-boggling waves of lyricism that soar and scatter in air. The final poem, “Gather Her,” reads like Osowski’s spiritual manifesto: “Take the her/out of smother, let oxygen back in to the blue/and leave the hurt—that’s not even her.” This is a ravishing debut from an impossibly gifted new poet.
~Michael White, author of Travels in Vermeer