Just Now Alive by Kristina Bicher



The poems in Kristina Bicher’s debut collection, Just Now Alive, are, ultimately, life- affirming songs in the face of both small and large tragedies. In the poem, “We Live Here,” the speaker admits, “So much bad news / so much malignancy…Maybe we should all/ be soldiers once/ to practice dying /hard.” What unites these poems is a voice of quiet self-assurance, attention to detail, and empathy. When she imagines the moments before a tragic car accident she writes, “I would like to think they were singing…” Bicher’s poems show us how to appreciate the moments of joy when we are compelled break out in song.
–Jennifer Franklin, author of Persephone’s Ransom

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]


In relaxed colloquial tones the poems in Just Now Alive pull you in with a mixture of memorable images and wide-eyed wonder along with a mature personable embrace. The narratives are always grounded in rhythms that are controlled as they encounter and explore the poet’s own personal universe that is familiar to us all and universal in scope. Here are poems of loss, birth and celebration. Kristina Bicher‘s collection offers a unique perspective on what it truly means to be human.

–Kevin Pilkington, author of Summer Shares and The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]


“[W]ho among us / would claim / that it’s safe /to come out?” asks the world of Just Now Alive. It’s a placid world that can suddenly reveal itself to be death-plagued, a place where those who live quietly are unexpectedly prey to what “rips [them] slowly / out of this world.” The poet contemplates all with careful, elegant observation, which yields realizations of wisdom and grace. This collection disquiets and comforts with its spare apprehensions and its solid grounding in the lived life of small intimacies.

–Kathleen Ossip, author of The Cold War, Cinephrastics and The Search Engine

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]



Just Now Alive

by Kristina Bicher

(New Women’s Voices Series, No. 112)

$14, paper


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