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2015 Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series Selection

“Go ahead, try all you want pulling on Ruth Madievsky’s emergency brake—but just remember it won’t do you any good. This will be the most exciting and inventive first book you have read in years, and this poet’s take-no-prisoners attitude makes for an ecstatic joyride. These deeply moving poems reflect the raw darkness paring at the edges of our lives, and they reveal how that dark can sometimes move to the very centers of our being. Sexy, irreverent, sorrowful, thrilling—the poems of Emergency Brake become a young woman’s survival manual for the twenty-first century: ignore it at your own peril." 

—David St. John

"Ruth Madievsky’s first collection is an announcement like a bomb going off, like a super wave coming to swallow us up! For my part I am thrilled to be taken away by such energetic, funny, and heartbreaking work. This is a new voice made of sunlight, knives, emergencies, heat, honesty, bottles of vodka, and a tanker full of talent. Madievsky has created something we should not go without." 

—Matthew Dickman


Review, by Nathan Goldman (Prairie Schooner)

Forms of Self-Interrogation, by Maggie Millner (ZYZZYVA)

Repurposing Violence, by Nathan Xavier Osorio (Columbia Journal)

A Review of Emergency Brake, by Dexter L. Booth (Waxwing Literary Journal)

Fall Poetry Reading, by Jesse Nathan (Boston Review)

Indies Recommend: 10 Small Press Books You Should Read, by Green Apple booksellers (Literary Hub)


Originally from Moldova, Ruth Madievsky is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist living in Boston. Emergency Brake has spent five months on Small Press Distribution's Poetry Bestsellers List and is one of their top 30 bestselling books in any genre of the last several years. Ruth Madievsky's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She was the winner of The American Poetry Review's Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, The Iowa Review's Tim McGinnis Award for fiction, and a Tin House scholarship in poetry. When she is not writing, she works as an HIV and oncology pharmacist.

80 pages | 5.5 x 7.5 in.
ISBN-13: 978-1-935635-53-6 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-935635-54-3 (hardcover)

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