Winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award from the Poetry Foundation
O ludicrous swoon, O blind hind-sight,
O torching of bridges and blood boiled white,
O sparrow, and arrow, and hell below,
O, she says, because she loves to say O.
—from "O, She Says"
Swoop is a sonically audacious first book, a ringing up and down the musical scales. Hailey Leithauser's resplendent array of forms—from traditional verse to more fragmented, onrushing experiments—takes the reader to the heights of lyricism. In these poems, sharp objects speak for themselves, sex is taken up alfresco (among other things), an enigmatic question is posed from To Have and Have Not, and the song of a mockingbird drives us out of bed. A paean to excess, Swoop is a virtuosic and exhilarating debut.