Reviews for Bianca
"Eugenia Leigh's new collection, 'Bianca,' is hard to read — but harder to look away from. In these fierce, intimate poems, Leigh writes about motherhood complicated by mental illness and post-traumatic stress. 'I expected to die much younger than I am now,' she writes in a piece called 'Cruelty.' Every one of these poems is a victory, artistic and personal."
— Ron Charles
"In her piercing and fearlessly vulnerable second collection, Leigh examines how to navigate a life of motherhood and illness in the aftermath of childhood abuse, providing a testament of unparalleled honesty. ... The result is a sensitive, insightful, and commanding portrait of motherhood and survival."
— Publishers Weekly
"The book moves from a fear of genetic determinism to a recognition of loved ones who refuse to abandon her, even when 'cursed at and punched.' .... A husband, a son, friends, sisters, and strangers (including a taxi driver profoundly forgiving of being vomited on) show care for 'Bianca,' and eventually lead the text’s 'Eugenia' to love her various selves..."
— Cindy Juyoung Ok
"Between [her first book] and now, Leigh, like me, also birthed a child. With that experience came a full-fledged emotional and poetic fruiting only hinted at in her first book. Leigh has lived in the intervening years, and it pulsates off every page of her new collection, Bianca, which is both a primal scream and an exquisite catharsis."
— Angela María Spring
"Noisy, unrelenting, healing."
— Karla J. Strand
"Liked Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation (by Camonghne Felix)? Read Bianca by Eugenia Leigh. ...Pink sticky flags mark Leigh's lines, stanzas, and pages. In the third and final part, 'Bipolar II Disorder: Second Evaluation (Zuihitsu for Bianca)' begins: 'We all called her Bianca. My fever, my havoc, my tilt. Bianca trashed the kitchen.' How much I needed this book in my life, and — like I listened to Dyscalculia back to back — I trust I'll reread it soon."
— Connie Pan
"Even so, life manages to crawl out from this cycle of ruin. It takes the form of unanswered prayers to an inattentive god, leading the speaker to turn inward and name herself as the ultimate divinity. Bianca is incredibly intimate, ending as the speaker sheds the weight of the past and returns to a rediscovered home."
— Evan Wang and Ziyi Yan
"Leigh's brilliant line break ... continues a dance she started on the first page with her sharp designs. The segue into the phrase 'I've known' ... is one of the extraordinary moves she offers throughout the book. It is a push-and-pull process, expressed with lucidity and with the rawness of wounds."
— Lúcia Leão
If you'd like a review copy of Bianca, please contact
Four Way Books at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Interviews (2023)
(See Below for Select Past Interviews)
Rob McLennan's Blog: 12 or 20 Questions with Eugenia Leigh by Rob McLennan
Frontier Poetry: Poet in the Mirror: Eugenia Leigh by Megan Kim
Select Past Interviews (2014 - 2022)
National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight: Eugenia Leigh by Rigoberto Gonzalez (2014)
Select Reviews for Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows
"Eugenia Leigh is a brave, young poet who has many worlds to split open ahead of her."
— Shaindel Beers
"In Leigh's world, survival doesn't mean absolution or release but the ability to create something new. Imagination is a tool for liberation, allowing the speaker and characters throughout the collection to endure; prepared to make something more powerful than the retelling of tragedy, as in the collection's last line ("The Happy Couple"): "For now, we sing."
— Kendra DeColo
"...throughout Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows, the reader must reckon with the impossibility of unceasing grace in the face of violence, a grace which Leigh captures with a sharp-edged, heart-splitting beauty. She asks us what it means to endure on earth, instead of in the stars, after living trauma that's determined enough to end us."
— Rachel Mennies
"Leigh's poems nakedly envision a world of complicated hope, and in doing so, create a foundation for that bridge over which we pass to remain intact, at least for a little longer. Leigh asks that we all participate in its remaking if we are willing to do the breaking."
— Tarfia Faizullah
"By the end of the collection, I can't help feeling the same echoes of devastation and resolve. These are brave poems and a remarkable debut. I look forward to reading more from Leigh. Her words feel important, and they should be read with the care and love that good poems deserve."
— Sabastian H. Paramo
"It's certain all of us will find both pain and beauty throughout our lives. But when we want to contemplate the configuration of their entwinement, and connect with our common humanity—that's when we can turn to poetry collections like Eugenia Leigh's Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows."
— Kenji C. Liu