Teresa Leo — The Halo Rule


The Halo Rule (Elixir Press, 2008), winner of the Elixir Press Editors' Prize.

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About The Halo Rule

"With robust language and sharp wit, Teresa Leo takes up the struggle to make something durable of human desire.  The 'grievous infractions' of her title poem result from the refusal to respect rules of engagement: in sport, in love.  Depictions of intimacy’s trusts and betrayals  – 'We’re flatlined, sandblasted,/ pummeled, untoward'  – deracinate romance; a series of poems that includes 'Narcissists Anonymous' showcases Leo’s nimble welding of classical myth and popular culture.  Read The Halo Rule for its original metaphors and frank evocations of women and men in extremis, grappling with appetite, connection, and disconnection."

            —Robin Becker

"Teresa Leo’s powerfully visceral poems evoke a life in a maelstrom of vulnerability and rage.  They limn the dark side of the irresistible, of love’s bad choices, where no 'halo rule' (a football rule designed to protect the vulnerable receiver) exists to save the speaker and her lover from 'our most grievous infractions.'  In this way, Leo finds language for what in many relationships remains unspoken."

            —Stephen Dunn

"Teresa Leo’s The Halo Rule possesses an experimental texture that is underscored by the real, the everyday.  The reader is transported by the numerous twists and turns embedded in each poem, propelled by a music that is basic, believable, and fantastic.  The Halo Rule is a labyrinth of moods, circles within circles, where a seemingly familiar figure of speech can take a leap and turn into a delectable surprise."

            —Yusef Komunyakaa


flourish Contemporary Poetry Review, 2011, reviewed by Andrew Goodspeed; also on E-Verse Radio
flourish Painted Bride Quarterly, Fall 2009, reviewed by Nathalie Anderson
flourish CutBank Reviews, March 2009, reviewed by Amy Schrader
flourish Women's Review of Books, January/February 2009, reviewed by Wendy Vardaman
flourish Harvard Review, Fall 2008, reviewed by Shrode Hargis
flourish Coldfront Magazine, October 2008, reviewed by Ken L. Walker
flourish Rain Taxi Review of Books, Summer 2008, reviewed by Marj Hahne

Book Cover Art: Virtue #8, by Judith Schaechter, Stained glass, 34” x 31”, 2003.

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