The aftermath of a brother’s mysterious death forms a subtle narrative spine, around which other pressing questions revolve. In a voice both lyrical and wry, Austen’s poems engage headlong in the contradictions of 21st century social expectations, desires and identity.
“If Elizabeth Austen is “between gods for the moment,” it’s because—gratefully!—she hovers and dances close to the vestigial, the elusive, and the transitory. She sees with a steely eye. She sings with the purest pitch. By turns tender and tough, spare and lush, these poems speak to and for the fleeting, fleeing world. An absolutely stunning and cohesive first book by a first-rate poet! Every Dress a Decision is a joy to read, and reread. —Nance Van Winckel
“Elizabeth Austen’s poems are pellucid, interior, and powerfully original in both vision and voice. This book welcomes into our view a writer of language-substance, awake ear, and revealed—and revealing—heart.” —Jane Hirshfield
“Elizabeth Austen’s poems have great emotional range, formal rigor and an ambition of scope that is tempered beautifully by a considered intimacy. A poetry both luminous and grounded in the world.” —Chris Abani, Sanctificum and Hands Washing Water