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"Wyatt Prunty is a classic poet in the tradition of Frost, Wilbur, Merrill, and Justice. His work involves a wry sanity toward the world and an impeccable ear for both prosody and the rhythms of American speech. Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise features his breakout Dantesque poem, 'Nod,' about an encounter with a lost soul in the parking lot of an Atlanta shopping mall around the 4th of July. Its unnerving pleasures are inseparable from Prunty’s ear for language. There’s a connection between that perfect fit of language to meter and the sense of necessity and brutality in the world described. The effect is both comic and terrible, and makes you know you are in the hands of a master."

"In these intimate confessions of—as the jacket says—'childish misgivings and adult assurances,' Wyatt Prunty brings a grace and dignity to the speaking voice, as well as ironical humour in the case of the adult assurances."

"There are vast expanses of ordinary fabric, bejeweled by moments of existential clarity... Prunty holds everyday experience up to the light in such a way that it seems anything but. He has an exquisite hold on life."

"A distinct and distinctive voice... best looked at not amongst his peers but in the light of an earlier generation of elegant formalists, from Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, and James Merrill, to the less well-known Edgar Bowers and J. V. Cunningham."

"Some poets write in a plain style and do it well. Wyatt Prunty does it even better—with wit, with narrative grace, and with modesty. His poems are wise and compassionate. He is a superb poet."