LOVE LETTER TO WHO OWNS THE HEAVENS
Tupelo Press January 2022
"Love Letter frequently makes classical and neoclassical allusions (Catullus, Horace, Shakespeare), and the Greek gods—especially Hermes and Nike—stand out as ancient owners of the heavens who struck with more compassion and precision than today's drone operators. Such references never feel stuffy or academic, just as the occasional presence of pop culture (Fleetwood Mac, McDonald's, 2Pac, Natty Light) enriches rather than cheapens the verses."
—John Hay, from DIAGRAM
"Remember, though, that this book is, as its title says, a love letter to us bumbling custodians. There is none of that irritating consistency here that mars so many collections these days; instead, that sexy cyborg of a speaker flits in and out, powering up and falling away exhausted and then popping back in when we least expect her. In that way, she reminds us that, if we have the ability to screw things up, we also have the power to make them right again."
—David Kirby, from Full Stop
Poems from Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens anthologized in
Boston Review's Poems for Political Disaster and Best American Poetry 2020
In Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens, Corey Van Landingham follows love through all its hulking permutations. “Hoe, mouth, man with hand in mouth: Egyptian hieroglyphic for love.” Van Landingham isn’t afraid to look beyond the sayable into the heart’s golden light. Visionary yet grounded, necessary yet rife with play, Love Letter to Who Owns the Heaven thunders with unearthly music.
—Quan Barry, author of Loose Strife
Corey Van Landingham’s first book, Antidote, was an indelible reading event for me. Now, with Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens, I am again forever located in space and time through having experienced her exquisitely wrought poems. This memorable book is about how we perceive space and time, and how chillingly we are perceived within them—by our gods, lovers, governments and drones. Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens does what all the art I love best aims for, yoking the intimate with the historical, rightly acknowledging they are one and the same.
—Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore
In a world where drones are named for the messenger god, who is also the god of thieves, where a wedding celebration can be shattered by a missile fired by no one at all, in a world of destruction-by-proxy and a fever dream of omniscience, Corey Van Landingham gives us a beautiful, penetrating book of poems. These pages fairly shimmer with intelligence. And with something more important too: with insight that restores us to our senses.
—Linda Gregerson, author of Prodigal: New and Selected Poems