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Reviews of Cinema Muto

Cinema Muto, Jesse Lee Kercheval’s astonishingly moving and personal paean to silent film succeeds in ‘saving silence,’ as her first poem announces, while also, paradoxically, giving it a contemporary voice. This book is a fascinating look at silent film that is also, as in all good poetry, a journey of self-discovery.”
—Sharon Dolin, author of Burn and Dodge


“This miraculous work—each poem a transformation of script into story, silent film into loud life—is the one book you MUST read this year.”
—Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid


“Jesse Lee Kercheval’s Cinema Muto is a richly complex and marvelously inventive sequence—proudly sui generis in its ability to combine a quirky and individual lyric voice with a novelistic narrative. We can’t help but delight in the book’s surprises and genre-hopping, but Kercheval’s ultimate intent is elegiac: the book is not merely a lament for a lost art form, but a bittersweet reckoning with all things transient, including ourselves. If justice were poetic, a movie adaptation of Cinema Muto would be soon to follow.”
— David Wojahn, author of Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982–2004