Praise for ‘The Kissing of Kissing’

“Hannah Emerson’s The Kissing of Kissing is one of the most accomplished poetry debuts I’ve come across in recent memory. There’s something of Molly Bloom’s final soliloquy in these poems, that deep rush of deep ecstasy made full by having touched deep loss: ‘I sound / each prayer to let all of / language answer me. / Teach our water its art. / Use questions.’ You can feel echoes of Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, and Ross Gay in Emerson’s truly singular and unforgettable voice. This is one of those rare miraculous books that, having read, I want to immediately share with everyone I love.”Kaveh Akbar

“There is a ‘yes yes’ magic spell ‘yes yes’ in these pages, as this planet’s most extraordinary poems will cast. Yes, and more ‘yes yes,’ Hannah Emerson’s The Kissing of Kissing deserves a cult following—I’M IN! You, too, will fall in love with these poems that are coming at life in angles we never knew we needed to imagine!”CAConrad

The Kissing of Kissing is incantatory and ecstatic. Ideas and images rooted in the natural world appear and swirl; the patterns and deviations they create combine to form a lush soundscape. In the vibrant heart of this woods of Hannah Emerson’s words, we are implored to embrace gestures that are straightforward and not—to ‘try to dive / down to the / beautiful muck’ or ‘to get to the flake of / snow that indescribable thing / that we need to know if we are to melt.’ The Kissing of Kissing is spectacular in its cadences and in its call to embrace longing, desire, intimacy, and (yes yes) love.”Michael Kleber-Diggs

“‘Look very hard to find / the place between / the pillow and hell,’ Hannah Emerson writes in The Kissing of Kissing. Half entreating, half commanding, with an expansive approach to syntax and the urgent repetition of a heart beating with greater and greater intensity toward self-realization through language, these poems demonstrate a poetics of deep listening and deep feeling, of care, that suggests an alternative to the cruelty and carelessness that often take center stage in our historical moment. Hell is always proximate, Emerson’s poems remind us, but through attentiveness to ‘little things,’ so is the possibility for transformation—which is the work of poetry.”Lauren Russell

“I have never read a book like The Kissing of Kissing. In her first full-length poetry collection, nonspeaking autistic writer Hannah Emerson has exploded cultural assumptions about how we should write, how we should communicate, and what it means to be alive.” Kate Horowitz, lunaluna

“There is art in autism. Autistic life is art. Emerson’s generative tangle with language reconfigures autistic bodyminds not as sites of emptiness, but as agents of creative transformation.” Cavar, Barrelhouse

“Inventive . . . Images repeat on a scale that shifts from the immediate, worldly, and intimate to the cosmic. ‘Please try// to imagine how big you are yes yes,’ Emerson suggests, challenging the reader to expand their perception and vision through this unusual and intriguing approach to form.”Publishers Weekly