Twelve Winters Press, Sherman, Illinois  March 2016, ISBN: 978-0-9861597-7-0

Twelve Winters Press, Sherman, Illinois
March 2016, ISBN: 978-0-9861597-7-0


With linguistic precision and visual dexterity, Starfish explores the bottomless depths of human intimacy and loss, reconciled against the vastness of the ocean and infinity of the cosmos. What if we had to pick: "The ocean or the stars. / A reputation in truth telling or a prize in diplomacy?" ("Elements of Style"). At times rendered through the perception of a "year-rounder" residing in a tourist locale, its poems offer close-up portraits of individuals bounded by shorelines yet attuned to expansive horizons. Alert to how elemental symbols delight as well as unsettle us, the book as a whole weighs the ceaseless negotiation of our actions against the limits of temporality.

There’s a secret life of things in Pauline Uchmanowicz’s beautiful Starfish. Here, the ordinary, with gravity and whimsy, gives purchase to the extraordinary. It’s a poetry of hard truths, with boys “slender like slide rules,” and tuning forks “strewn like discarded wishbones.” You should read this book.
— Andrea Cohen
Pauline Uchmanowicz approaches her carefully chosen subjects from fresh and unexpected angles. She wastes no words, isn’t afraid to feel deeply, and knows how to round out a poem to a satisfying finish. All these are abilities not usual nowadays. It’s a tremendous pleasure to discover work so able and accessible. Starfish can only rate high among outstanding poetry books of its year.
— X. J. Kennedy
Pauline Uchmanowicz writes in a poem about a girl’s “attention poised / on the fronteir that seperates / matter from logic.” Those lines could be a definition of the poems in Starfish, and a definition of what good poems should do in general. These poems pay exquisite attention. They are strong, hyper-alert, and true.
— Thomas Lux