Advantages of Being Evergreen
Author: Oliver Baez Bendorf
Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center (2019)
"Equal part prayer and potion and survival guide, Oliver Baez Bendorf’s remarkable Advantages of Being Evergreen is an essential book for our time and for all time… Baez Bendorf is making a future grammar for the moment all of our vessels are free and held. I am living for the world these poems anticipate… This is a book of the earth’s abiding wonder. And the body’s unbreakable ability to bloom."
"This book… offers a topography of the body—each poem, a dropped pin, locating across a broad intricate landscape: memory, hunger, tenderness, grief, and fear. To read these poems is to trust the momentum of tributaries or the distance traveled when the trail is full of switchbacks. This work is an exercise of faith."
–Amaud Jamaul Johnson
"Written from and with death, the poems in Advantages of Being Evergreen offer elegies; they utter prayers that ask our dead to stay; they come as breath constrained and animated by a form that narrates an excess of natures, an excess of rivers that interrupt this book as the poet ponders the impossible question of what it means to be home. Here the body is a shared condition. The body is language. It changes. It resists. It mourns. It reincarnates with the “teeth of our dead around our neck.”"