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Praise for Phyla of Joy
Finalist for the Foreword Book Award

“Karen An-hwei Lee’s third book is a beautiful and sustained meditation on the impermanence of humanity’s essential components: memory, spirituality, emotion, thought….Contemplative and linguistically sophisticated, Phyla of Joy is simply exquisite —‘ink and stanza / flow like wind on grass.’”— Rigoberto González

“Karen An-Hwei Lee’s Phyla of Joy, is a marvel of light, blossoming flowers, and discovery. Its cover showcases a blooming flower. Inside, the poems bloom as well” — Whittney Jones, New Madrid

“The poems are exceedingly visual, and much of the music in the poems corresponds to the tightly concrete—yet also seductively puzzling—images. Many of the poems are contemplative in tone, but they develop their meaning (if meaning is what they’re aiming for) through juxtaposition of imagery rather than explanation. I found myself rereading several of the poems, sometimes because I found the language so attractive, sometimes because I didn’t quite understand; most often, I experienced both responses simultaneously. I realized, eventually, that these are poems to sit with, to absorb, to pick up and put down and pick up again.” Lynn Domina

“Reading Phyla of Joy is akin to listening to the reverberations of a singing bowl: first, one is attracted to the struck note, but the diminishing vibrations last a long time, compelling a continuing reflection.” Ann E. Michael, Poets’ Quarterly

“Karen An-hwei Lee’s third collection, Phyla of Joy, shines with poems of refined craft and subtle linguistic play. Love of language, love of the divine and reverence for the embodied human feminine each together and in turn animate the delicate interior and closely magnified exterior landscapes of these poems.”
 Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, Melusine

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