" With is a beautiful word. Its meaning and sound allowed me to write these poems. The word came to me as I felt so much loss without my husband of nearly 60 years; WITH came as a gift, an antidote, for I realized that I’ll always be with Ken Flynn: the boy, husband, father, aviator, artist, I knew most of my life. It’s impossible to be otherwise, for everything I’ve experienced refers to him. The book begins with poems that hark back to my young life. The center section is the title poem for the book— the story of a marriage— a surreality, but more truth than facts. The book ends with poems about a state of being, as I begin a new life. Of course there’s longing, memory, but also, vindication, because Ken was my muse, and he’ll always be WITH me. "
"Grace Cavalieri’s poems in her new collection, With, transport the reader back and forth across the bridge of time and reveal glimpses of her life with her deceased husband, Ken Flynn. Her words leave readers experiencing the heaviness of her loss “while the night pressing down on me/holds its basket of dreams/out of reach.” The surreal quality of Cavalieri’s title poem “With” tracks the notion of grief—scattered, dark, fragmentary, surprising. Readers are left with a gift only a poet as skilled as Cavalieri can offer—the knowledge that love transcends even death, that memories move us into a new space even as we revisit the old. "
-Ann Bracken, author of No Barking in the Hallways: Poems from the Classroom.
"Grace Cavalieri's new collection, With, dives directly into the heart of grief and loss and exposes how they come infuse the whole of our lives, past, present, and future. After loss, we know that "The importance of saying this now/is that it can't be said later." But these unflinching poems are more than just courageous – they are musical and prismatic and beautiful, created with Cavalieri's lifetime experience of disclosing the universal touchstone in the personal moment of feeling. "Oh now you know why my love outlasted your life," she writes in the title poem. The love does not die with the beloved, as this extraordinary and deeply moving collection reminds us. It can live forever, as in these poems."
-Laura Orem, Castrata: a Conversation
“With is a book that makes me feel struck through the heart filled as it is with its quiet beauty, its fidelity to love.”
-Anne Caston, Prodigal