The Tulip-Flame

The Tulip-Flame

Winner of the 2013 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, selected and with a foreword by Tracy K. Smith

Finalist for the 2015 PEN Center USA Literary Award in Poetry

Winner of the 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award

Winner of the 2014 Foreword Book of the Year Award

Winner of the 2014 Texas Institute of Letters Best First Book of Poetry Award 

“Graceful and quiet, Honum’s stunning debut moves like a ballet dancer: light and deliberate, even when in pain.”
Publishers Weekly  Starred Review

“The book promises the values Elizabeth Bishop exalted in poetry: accuracy, spontaneity, and mystery…The Tulip-Flame represents an exciting moment for contemporary poetry.”
—Catherine Pond, Los Angeles Review of Books

“The elegance and rigor of the language is so exacting that I hesitate, almost, to say that it seems a language perfectly suited to a classical dancer.”
—Rachel Richardson, West Branch 

“No phrase is wasted, no emotion unexplored.”
—Julianne Dudley, The Weekly Standard

“The consistent clarity and strength of Honum’s writing is striking and frankly, impressive. She writes with the confidence and assuredness of a poet who has multiple books to her credit.”
—Casey Thayer, The Rumpus

“A master of form, [Honum] places her words so fluidly, her images and ideas seemingly mainline into consciousness—instant realization.”
—Matt Sutherland, Foreword Review

“Chloe Honum was a ballet dancer and this is important to know, for dance depends upon music, and control – and so does poetry…Honum has technique in her bones.”
—Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books 

“I loved this book. I loved these poems. Not just appreciated, admired, and were inspired by them, but loved.”
—Anne Barngrover, The Missouri Review

“Chloe Honum’s marvelous The Tulip-Flame  flickers with forces universal, primal, and claustrally familial.”
—Lisa Russ Spaar, On the Seawall 

“This is not an erratic collection of a new poet cutting her teeth: this is a book to be read in one sitting, so that you can be held in Honum’s delicate and gripping spell of language.”
—Rebecca Morgan Frank, Memorious

The Tulip-Flame stretches eloquently across themes of love and loss and recovering from we cannot control.”
—Lori A. May, Colorado Review

“Full of gorgeous, thoughtful poetry, The Tulip-Flame is a debut that any poet cum ballerina would die for.”
—George Held, Small Press Reviews

“A deeply moving and powerful first book…the beauty of [Honum’s] work comes from a voice that is both confessional and withholding.”
—Daniel Barton, Front Porch Journal

“Honum is to be commended for her masterfully rendered web of grief and expectation.”
—Luke A. Fidler, The Economy 

“Striking and subtle…An honest, gently wrenching elegy for the lost.”
—Miriam Bird Greenberg, Blurbed

“Honum’s language is a powerful yet delicate force that mimics, perhaps, the strength and nature of dance.”
—Adriana Medina, TAB Journal of Poetry & Poetics

“I can’t stop thinking about this collection’s skill, its taut lines that are at once muscular and delicate.”
—Sebastian H. Paramo, American Microreviews and Interviews

“There is something beyond haunting in the soft tone of The Tulip-Flame that is utterly graceful, mimicking a ballet.”
—Monique Briones, Hot Metal Bridge

“It becomes impossible to not connect with [Honum’s] poems and fall in love with her language.”
—Kate Gaskin, Coven Book Club

“It is exciting, and a privilege, to read something so “true” and so likely to nest in the mind forever.”
—Christine Van Winkle, The Cossack Review

“If ever there was a debut collection of poems that showed an economy of language and a facility with poetic diction, it is this astounding collection.”
—Kasey Elizabeth Johnson, Galatea Resurrects 

“[Honum’s] emotional register is as powerful and lithe as a leaping dancer.”
—Emily Nemens, The Huffington Post

“A mother’s suicide and a daughter’s struggle to articulate its effects permeate this slender collection of spare, exquisitely crafted poems.”
—Debra Wierenga, Poet Lore

“The quiet manner, unassuming syntax, and delicately rendered natural world in Honum’s poems eerily heighten the human drama of ballet and trauma of losing a mother to suicide.”
—Adam Vines, Harriet: The Poetry Foundation 

“The candid poems in Chloe Honum’s The Tulip-Flame are hard to put down….cathartic, elegant and tough…”
—Barbara Bailey, A Fine Line: New Zealand Poetry Society 

Chloe Honum’s brilliant first book The Tulip-Flame  traces an identity forming within radically divergent but interlocking systems: a family traumatized by the mother’s suicide, a failed relationship, the practice of ballet, a garden—each strict, exacting. And with “a crow’s sky-knowing mind,” Honum in every case transfigures emotion by way of elegant language and formal restraint. Chloe Honum is “one astounding flame” of a poet, and I predict a long-lasting one.
—Claudia Emerson, author of Late Wife, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

I am so very taken by the exquisite power and grace in every single one of these poems, so arresting in their honesty and in their unflinching ability to scour the world for image after indelible image.
—Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

These poems have the smell of both the embalmed corpse and of lavender, lilacs, and lilies. There is a sad “worm-lust” in them as they perform their memorable ballet. A fine first book.
—Henri Cole, author of Touch

Chloe Honum’s first book is stark and haunting and hard to put down. I read it in one straight blaze like a novel, then found myself living in its glimmers for weeks.
—Christian Wiman, author of Every Riven Thing and former editor of Poetry magazine

Read or listen to poems from The Tulip-Flame

Read interviews with Chloe