Peach Picks: Two Poetry Collections to Check Out

by / Apr. 3, 2018 1pm EST


Deep Camouflage ​
By Amy Saul-Zerby

Civil Coping Mechanisms / 2018 / poetry collection

Out recently from Civil Coping Mechanisms is Amy Saul-Zerby’s second full-length poetry collection, Deep Camouflage. Saul-Zerby, a Philadelphia-based writer and the editor in chief of Voicemail Poems, was awarded publication with the press after being a finalist for its annual Mainline competition. Deep Camouflage, written in seven parts, is Saul-Zerby’s study of how, in grief, memories become daydreams you get to direct. She writes of the many dimensions of heartbreak—trauma, blame, reclamation—and exposes what is underneath her silence and instinct to make herself smaller, or in other words, what lies at the deep end of her camouflage. Saul-Zerby’s writing is devastating, grand, and very funny, often all within the same line; in “typing into my phone again like,” she writes, “i promise i will end this poem / on a note we can / all live with,” and in “kindness does not indicate weakness,” writes, “quiet is all i know how to keep / time slips thru me, smiling.” Whatever quiet Saul-Zerby may have kept is now generously broken in this stunning second collection.


By Dorothea Lasky

Wave Books / 2012 / poetry collection Every once in a while I begin reading a book late on a weeknight that ends up so monumental that I consider calling in sick to work the next day. That was the case for me last week when I began Thunderbird by Dorothea Lasky, the first of her many poetry collections that have come out with Wave Books. The poems in Thunderbird are opened by an epigraph from Sylvia Plath’s infamous 1951 poem, “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” in which she writes, “I should have loved a thunderbird instead … (I think I made you up inside my head.)” Thunderbird is a playlist of mad girls’ love songs; they cover everything from the harm of betrayal to death ideation to feeling—above all else—gleefully detached from the world around you. In “Why go in cars,” Lasky writes, “I don’t want to be destroyed by you / I love you and your want” and “I will never put the fire / Out of you.” The poems in this collection will fall like rain through you. They’ll unclench whatever fist you’ve got buried inside your chest.

“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at