"With glamour's grammar and a vision rich in historical insight, Angie Estes has written a brilliant, evocative book. Picture a green glass vial tucked between the pillows of a diva's breasts 'to keep the cognac warm.' Chez Nous is at once crystal and cognac—flacon and spirit—and the singular, pure-pitched notes crossing so assuredly between them."

—Linda Bierds

"The poems in Angie Estes' Chez Nous bristle like Wallace Stevens' firecat ('leaping / To the right, to the left') from the very start. She proves, in poem after poem, that nearly every word 'houses' a complex of meaning and nuance, frequently contradictory, and suggests that this 'house,' built by human utterance over time (and thereby 'our house'), is the quintessential metaphor for human nature: its tendency to invoke, reinvoke, unreinvoke, until simplicity is rendered impossible. The effect of Estes' persistent exploration is a collection of phenomenal poems—magnificent word-houses—that, like words themselves, with their roots, celebrate the ground, with their stems, solemnize the sky, and in sum, achieve the perfect musical accompaniment to the imperfect act of being alive."

—Larissa Szporluk


"Very few poets understand language's singing side, its vocal music, half as well as Estes, and few succeed as she does in making that music control whole poems."

—Stephen Burt, The Believer


"Throughout Chez Nous Estes is interested in the ways language maps both interior and exterior landscapes, exposing contours and corners, pathways and distances. And the distances she travels with regard to subject are nothing short of remarkable; in Chez Nous we venture from Paris to Delphi to Rome, encounter Miles Davis and Mae West, Marcus Aurelius and Pliny, to name only a few. These poems mark the territories of both intellect and emotion—often at once and with an attention to lyric and image that is striking and memorable."

—Nancy Kuhl, The Laurel Review


Read the full reviews from Stephen Burt and Nancy Kuhl


Angie Estes' book Chez Nous was selected as an editor's favorite by Cerise Press.



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