Reviews, Previews, and Interviews

What Have I to Say to You

"Epistolary (letter) poems establish intimacy between the poet and intended reader. Usually that reader is specific, like a family member or lover, and we feel as if we’re eavesdropping on a private correspondence. Shakespeare’s sonnets carry this quality. I’m drawn to Megan Levad’s new book, What Have I to Say to You, because many of her poems speak to a general reader. I like feeling addressed directly, especially when a poet has something surprising to say." -David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle

SPD Poetry Bestsellers, March 2018

"What Have I to Say to You is, in my judgment, one of the actually good poetry books of the last fifteen years. Best in terms of memorable lines and bold vision, and best in terms of being the kind of book one happily reads over and over. It took me twenty-nine minutes and five seconds to read the whole thing into a voice recorder. I have listened to that recording six times in the last week." -Anthony Madrid, The Paris Review

"Composed as a book-length lyric suite, Levad’s poems explore the intimate at an extremely high speed, moving through the imagination and the body with great detail and dexterity...What Have I To Say To You might suggest a direct response to another, but it feels just as much a kind of intricate, lyric character study composed as monologue." -rob mclennan

The Poetry Show! with Daphne Stanford, Radio Boise

"What Have I To Say To You is only her second book, and yet, consisting of untitled verse separated by page breaks, it contains enough refreshing streams of images and small moments of stoppage to allow an uninhibited and thoroughly pleasurable reading, something rare in a sophomore work." -Andrew Hungate, Literary Matters

"Is this collection a letter marking the end of a love affair? Is it a record of the ways in which external voices interrupt our private dialogues? Is it a lamentation, a 'choir of lowing whales?' Is it a bitter confrontation of the human inclination to dream? We do not know. We do not need to know. This is not a book of life stories but of attitudes struck toward life, toward stories. The poems speed by, with an urge to entertain and to provoke before disappearing in a flash." -Erica Funkhouser

"This is a voice that would tell a lover only the harsh skinny about itself and the most terrible truth, not about our fascination with the selfie, but instead the polaroid. This is a smart love of everyone and nearly everything and it graciously leaves behind unforgettable minimal/maximal artifacts that are vivid songs, alive and formal. What a wonderful human accomplishment this book is." -Norman Dubie


Why We Live in the Dark Ages

"A question can be an assertion? // Power? Feminism? // Overvaluing contingency uncertainty gaps is ignorance? Undervaluing contingency uncertainty gaps is tyranny? // The question marks a form of excess?" -Ariana Nadia Nash, The Bind

"Levad's debut poetry collection is exquisite. The text is a cycle of unearthing the memories of what a human is and what a human does...If Hawking is correct and erasure is coming, by our own hands, then these poems will transcend our consciousness to reflect speech and bookmark our bodies in time." -Heather Goodrich, Bombay Gin

"The 'Dark Ages': Poet Megan Levad Talks Language and Science (in a Fun Way)" -Eaghan Davis, NOT MAD

"Why We Live in the Dark Ages is an odd, darkly funny, very smart collection of what aren't quite poems, but extended tangents..."
-Portland Mercury

"In her first collection, Levad has shown a sharp intelligence and a remarkable ability to imitate modern vocalities and invent forms that mirror the hyperactivity of contemporary life. Her poetic voice reveals a talent that is both classically satirical and invigoratingly original." -The Michigan Daily

"Similarly, the language of Megan Levad’s ironic prose poems “Nanobots” and “Why We Live in the Dark Ages,” interrogates the way we educate our youth about science; they make me wonder what in the world we need to do to re-ground ourselves in the rigorous wonder that science and the humanities, together, require." -NewPages

"The speaker, though who is the speaker, anyway there's definitely a speaker because these poems have a really oral quality to them, oral as in spoken, not as in sex. And I say she because I assume she's a she because Megan Levad is a she which you're not supposed to do. She's a brilliant poet and I would read her book. I did. I mean I would if I were you, out loud. Read it." -Evie Shockley

"Megan Levad is bringing us strange news from our own planet in these pieces—news we would have missed if it weren't for her keen eye, its otherworldly gaze, and her wild poetic senses of humor and horror. Why We Live in the Dark Ages is suffused with tenderness and savage insight, and although a violent red thread runs through it, there's hope here, too. This work announces Levad as an important new voice, an inventor of both musical and discursive forms, and a poet we've needed, whose work might change us and save us, or at least make us reconsider all we've taken for granted. Levad reminds us what poetry is for by being a poet of extraordinarily elastic range, pushing at the art to make it do what it hasn't done before." -Laura Kasischke



"Levad’s libretto is beautifully written. The final bride’s statement: “I am an ash-winged moth in a chimney. I built my fragile tomb.” But is Levad a better poet than dramatist?" -Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot

"Ill-fated lovers, dark secrets and a Gothic 19th-century backdrop are de rigueur for many a blockbuster or streaming smash hit—and the formula, it seems for a successful opera. Composer-librettist team Kristin Kuster and Megan Levad combine music and an eerie setting with their new opera, Kept: A Ghost Story, and the result is thrilling." -Virginia Living

"Another rare thing: Kept has a majority-woman creative team. Kuster said she’s never experienced this. 'It’s really significant. This field has such a gender-gap problem. For all of us to be together creating this work is really exhilarating.'" -The Virginian-Pilot


You Are Where You Live

"Levad builds each of her poems from one of the Nielsen Company’s consumer categories, leaving us a string of voices—both orchestrated and overheard.  Her sequence crosses Spoon River Anthology with an avant-garde erasure, and flexes—like all the poems here collected—a multi-muscular strength." -Derek Mong, Mantis

"Loneliness, a scrapture. Megan Levad writes, it’s not true anymore." -rob mclennan,"Vowel frequencies," N/A


And More

Introduction for AnOther, Fall/Winter 2013

Lively Words Session 25

Living Writers with T Hetzel, WCBN

"I found Levad’s response particularly interesting. She lived in New York City at the time of the attacks and shared that she found dance performances the most cathartic because of their physicality and use of silence." -Klickitat

CLMP Taste Test