Publishers Weekly (07/25/2011):
Through the jagged couplets and one-line stanzas of Kryah's second collection of poems runs an unsettling but graceful drama of consumption and consolation. In an act of "cannibalization" of spiritually minded sources (Yeats, John Donne, St. Augustine, others) that is less a quest than it is the creation of a sustained state of existence, Kryah (Glean) opens up a space in which the reality of the body can be explored and made significant without sacrificing the metaphysical: "that darkness," he writes, "though the habitation of jackals, of wolves, of boys beating the bushes// to force you into the open, is ours." In this world, the vestiges of a personal history are indeed present, but the figure repeatedly bodied forth is hunger itself: a shape-shifting omnipresent entity that becomes metaphor first for desire but ultimately comes to signify love, poverty, family, home, community, and the foundations of any human identity. If on the one hand the book explores the contours of personal grief and guilt ("the frothing of those hounds I keep deep inside me"), while on the other it plumbs the depths of a general and universal condition of bodily and spiritual "starvation," registering and giving back the forms of "all of us moving in the shape of our own hunger." (July) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"Kryah's lines are full of figurative grace: The images stun and accumulate. "We Are Starved" introduces an important poetic vision, a surprising and exciting voice." --Laura Kasischke, author of "Space," "in Chains" and "The Raising"
"In haunted days more filled with violence than grace, Joshua Kryah has found the sacred, a way to be amazed at how 'you can move among the world's misfortune/and still consider it good.' "We Are Starved"'s breathtakingly mature poems are fueled by a man's internal combustion, the tremendous labor it is to live well--to be a father, a lover, a son--in a fallible world. There's a gorgeous, seeking darkness swelling the heart of We Are Starved, one that marks Kryah as among contemporary poetry's finest young voices." --Alex Lemon, author of "Happy: A Memoir" and "Fancy Beasts"
"Joshua Kryah is redefining what it means to write spiritual poetry. This is not another book about longings for the spiritual; this is a book of offerings to the spiritual. These poems answer the plea of Yeats's spirits ('We are starved') and give them what they crave, depicting the particulars of human appetite and the way each 'peculiar and appalling hunger' unfolds. The scope of these poems is dizzying; they echo and glitter and sear as they, against all odds, give us a 'world that] is/suddener than any idea about the world.' " We Are Starved" is unabashed and unflinching, and it is deeply, exquisitely satisfying." --Mary Szybist, author of "Granted"