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In the Surgical Theatre

A doctor contemplates Lenin’s embalmed body; two angels flank an open chest during a heart transplant; a father’s anger turns into a summer thunderstorm. Each of Levin’s poems is an astonishing investigation of human darkness, propelled by a sensuous syntax and a desire for healing. Winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, In the Surgical Theatre was selected by Louise Glück, who wrote, “at the book’s center… is the surgical theatre, an image, like Plath’s bees, metaphorically fertile, its manifold resonances revealed though Levin’s extraordinary and demanding intelligence… What in such a smaller talent might have proved repetitious, banal, self-glorifying, is, here, the heart of an astonishing book.”