Jo Pitkin’s poems are strong, exact, intensely evocative, and resonate with a lovely inner music. Hers is one of the surest poetic voices to be heard now, and Commonplace Invasions will consolidate her reputation among those who know her work and will bewitch new readers.
John Banville, author of Ancient Light
Jo Pitkin is a colorist, and her poems, not surprisingly, can be likened to paintings. Her palette is luminous, her brushstrokes sure. She imbues places, people, memories with the faceted light through which she views the world, jewel-like and elusive.
Nina Bogin, author of The Lost Hare
The poems in Jo Pitkin's Commonplace Invasions are rendered in the poetic equivalent of engravings in very old, weathered rock face. They are restrained and attentive, and invite the reader into the presence of a speaker who has privileged secrets she is nonetheless willing to share. Pitkin is a superb craftswoman—rare among the world of gifted emerging poets nowadays. Her fiercely capable sentences, many of them only three or four words, carry great weight. Hers is a voice careful but not timid, exacting but not obsessive. Those who come to poetry seeking a grand, swashbuckling punch in the gut need look elsewhere. And yet, a Pitkin poem surprises, but does so with a shift in light, a rustling in the periphery. Those who come contemplatively and ready to receive will be rewarded beyond measure.
Frannie Lindsay, author of Our Vanishing