Laurie Rachkus Uttich

writer of poetry and prose

Laurie Rachkus Uttich is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere, a Woman Lowers the Hem of Her Skirt (Riot in Your Throat, 2022). It was selected by Independent Book Review for The Best Books We Read This Year (2022).

Every single poem in this gorgeous collection seems to spring whole from a moment of achingly sharp perception. Uttich writes directly into Adrienne Rich’s “dream of a common language” --that place where the impossibility of connection is breached by love, and care, and justice. “I want to write a happy poem…” she says… “something that would never/use the words silver-lining” and indeed no easy hope is offered. Something far greater is kindled in her words, though – the precious shimmer of the world-as-it-is in all its violence and unbidden joy.  Few poets are natural makers of stunning endings; Uttich is one them.  Her poems never speechify or slip delicately away; rather they offer a vision of the depths possible if one is brave enough to stay close to hard truths, ask – and wait for - wisdom, and witness with awe and tenderness.

--Lia Purpura, author of four poetry and four essay collections, including It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful (2015) and All The Fierce Tethers: Essays (2019)

These poems will take you out, spin you around, and teach you just how important a woman’s life is. They’ll remind you of the distance between where you grew up and where you live now, and then they’ll collapse that distance so you see that who you are is everyone you’ve ever been. And they’ll do all that with breathless grace, humor, and compassion.

--Katherine Riegel, author of two poetry collections: What the Mouth Was Made For (2013) and Castaway (2010)

Laurie Rachkus Uttich’s collection feels like the best kind of church. I want to shout, "Hallelujah! Amen!" at the end of each poem. Her words rock with hymns of struggle, love, family, community, and “girl power." And while they build us up, they also remind us of our responsibility to call out unjust systems and to walk alongside everyone who crosses our paths. It's an invitation to embrace the authentic in ourselves and others, to love instead of judge. In all of these poems, Uttich’s dazzling language avoids sentimentality and captures the raw details of life. These poems are honest, tender, rugged, and unflinching.

--Terry Ann Thaxton, author of three poetry collections: Mud Song (2017), The Terrible Wife (2014), and Getaway Girl (2011)