Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. "HEAVY PETTING is a hell of a sexy book. A sexy and generous book. A book where thighs are 'spread like warm apple butter,' where one eye is so close to another there is no sight, where we don't 'feel clean unless...burning,' where the not forgotten magic of the Mississippi River, 'giant but quiet' makes lovers fall asleep inside each other, where when it is 'too cold to sunbathe' the speaker writes letters to skin—the whole thing a kind of 'relationship porn.' Or maybe this book is feeling porn... So, let's do it. Let's live a burning life. Read this book. Be touched and burned and be happy about it. We don't feel clean until we are burning anyway."—Dorothea Lasky
"If you wake up tomorrow early and Frank O'Hara is a Sony Walkman, Xanax is the new Surgeon General, and someone you're not sure you recognize as your beloved is writing his/her name on the inside of your lip, don't be alarmed, you're reading HEAVY PETTING by Gregory Sherl."—Matt Hart
YesYes Books, 2011. Let’s just put this out there: while reading this book, you will want to put it down and go nuzzle something that can nuzzle back. You will probably get a little hot and bothered. You’ll want to brush your teeth and then dip a finger in frosting. You will most certainly want to be kind...
Heavy Petting is a collection that is at once luxurious and exuberant in its voice and wholly generous and empathetic in its heart. We can sling-shot from the aching image: “I have cried so many days there is a river under my bed. The monster has grown/ gills, webs between its toes,” to: “When we kiss, the audience sighs. Some asshole coughs” as well as literal drawings of “a firefly eating a bear” and “An anorexic banana.” It’s like we have been vaulted into a world that is both alien and yet unmistakingly familiar. I promise you: you won’t want to leave. And, you’ll most likely want to bring somebody along with you.
You have been warned.
from Read This Awesome Book
Review by Anne Ryan Barngrover
"If you wake up tomorrow early and Frank O’Hara is a Sony Walkman, Xanax is the new Surgeon General, and someone you’re not sure you recognize as your beloved is writing his/her name on the inside of your lip, don’t be alarmed, you’re reading Heavy Petting by Gregory Sherl."
-Matt Hart, editor Forklift, Ohio
The problem with post-confessionalism is that its most uninspired iterations have been sprinkled across America for the past quarter-century; that is, the problem with post-confessionalism isn't post-confessionalism, it's post-confessionalists. No longer: Gregory Sherl is the post-confessionalist we've been looking for, which is to say that there's nothing smarmy, self-important, or false about these poems or this poet. Sherl is that rare author who can speak earnestly about the vagaries, pleasures, and discouragements of living and still charm your pants off. You'll enjoy walking around his head a bit, I guarantee.
-Seth Abramson, The Huffington Post
The intimacy of Gregory Sherl’s writing is seductive. In Heavy Petting, Sherl’s first full-length collection and the debut title from YesYes Books (September 2011), the poetry is so revealing that whether the writing is autobiographical or not, Sherl gives the impression he is willing to cut himself open, to bleed nakedly for his work, for his reader.
Review by Roxane Gay, co-editor of PANK
About the Author
Gregory Sherl is the author of I Have Touched You (Dark Sky Books, 2011), HEAVY PETTING (YesYes Books, 2011), Monogamy Songs (Future Tense Books, 2012), THE OREGON TRAIL IS THE OREGON TRAIL (Mud Luscious Press, 2012), and Swallow (YesYes Books, 2013). His writing has appeared in Gargoyle, Columbia Poetry Review, NANO Fiction, New Delta Review, and PANK. He is the co-founder of the online poetry journal Vinyl.