“Heather Hartley's first book is full of appetite and steeped in European culture--it will make you want to book a one-way ticket to Paris or Naples. Hartley is always attentive to sound, her poems carefully worded but not overwrought; even the table of contents reads like a poem: "The Sorceress of the Russian Sauna," "Sleeping with War and Peace." By turns sexy and wry, Hartley reminds us that it "takes time and careful attention/ to pluck, savor and suck out / your breathtaking core," but also, in "Advice for the Hirsute," that "you can only wax your crotch so long before finally, finally / the hair creeps back like dark widow's weeds." She treats hunger as a source of humor, delighting in mistranslated menus--"filet of duck with gentle fruit sauce . . . a duet of three pairs"--but also as means of grieving, questioning, and coping: "is it bad luck to eat the salami of a dead man?" Underneath the wit of Hartley's work, there is something probing, as if she is seeking to lay the sad world bare: "I've written all over the city in these black boots."
"In Knock Knock, Hartley has accomplished a humor hat-trick, netting jokes a) in poetry, b) while evoking multiple cultures and c) in multiple languages. Hartley’s comedy is in the absurdity of the details, whether sensory or linguistic."
"Her poems enjoy quirky characters and odd details, the pleasures and perturbations of travel."
"Heather Hartley writes the kind of poetry many of us are starved for, a poetry without borders, passionate about what we savor the most on our tongues—languages, foods, lovers.
"Heather Hartley's first book of poems breathes new life into language at every turn....In her linguistic playfulness, she's lithe and muscular as a gymnast. All the angels may be out to lunch, as she says, but all the flags in her heart are flying."
Heather reads This is a fugue for the lost art of aching on PBS Newshour.
Review of Knock Knock, by Ashlie Kauffman in JMWW.
Review of Knock Knock, by Susan Moorhead in The Chattahoochee Review.
Her lines are measured and purposeful and her images unforgettable...These vignettes glimmer with compassion: Sandra Beasley, author of the astonishing second collection I Was the Jukebox, had this and other generous things to say about Knock Knock, both on Ron Slate's blog and her own, "Chicks Dig Poetry."
Janet Skeslien Charles, author of the fabulous novel Moonlight in Odessa interviews Heather.
Heather answers the Proust Questionnaire as envisioned by Anne Marsella, author of numerous novels and most recently the fantastic The Baby of Belleville, on Laurel Zuckerman's informative, upbeat Paris Weblog.
All the angels may be out to lunch . . . Dylan Landis blogs on Knock Knock launch in NYC.
The Budapest Bardroom asks Heather Hartley five questions.
Eberly College of Arts & Sciences at West Virginia University interviews Heather.