The Largest Possible Life
Alison Luterman is a poet, essayist, and playwright. Her books include the poetry collections Desire Zoo (Tia Chucha Press), The Largest Possible Life (Cleveland State University Poetry Center Press), and See How We Almost Fly (Pearl Editions) and a collection of essays, Feral City (SheBooks). Luterman’s plays include Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Hot Water, Glitter and Spew, Oasis, and The Recruiter and the musical, Links in a Chain. Her writings have been published in The Sun, The New York Times, The Boston Phoenix, Rattle, The Brooklyn Review, Oberon, Tattoo Highway, Ping Pong, Kalliope, Poetry East, Poet Lore, Poetry 180, Slipstream, and other journals and anthologies. Alison has taught at The Writing Salon in Berkeley, the Esalen Institute, and the Omega Institute, as well as at high schools, juvenile halls, and poetry festivals.
“Alison Luterman’s passionate, original poetry sets my heart on fire. When the heat becomes unbearable, she leads me to the water and puts the fire out. A writer of enormous talent, she embraces the wounded world around her, and reveals herself to be a part of it, prisoner to the same fears and desires as the rest of us. Her poems are acts of mercy.” –Safransky
“The best poems from Alison Luterman’s first poetry collection, The Largest Possible Life, have the feel of having been artfully lifted from precise moments of intimacy and betrayal, and they are imbued with the beautiful impossibility of hope in a world that seems in mourning for its own lost chances. Yet what balances this tightrope walk on the edge of hip nihilism, or clever confessionalism, is a fine and a finely tuned artistic irony. Irony in the old way meant not only a strangely truthful diction turned somehow askew, but an irony of form as well: a music of line and an urgently human way of speaking seamlessly woven together. Even more, this is a book of delight and surprise, and of delicately comic turns of phrase. Out of the corner of her eye, Alison Luterman is a keen watcher of the tangled business of our lives, and in her heart, she is a storyteller whose power resides, as in all good storytellers’ hearts, in her faith in the listener.” –Bruce Weigl
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Luterman, Alison, "The Largest Possible Life" (2001). CSU Poetry Center Books. 73.