Camille Dungy shares with us in this manuscript her sharp, clear and honest ear and her unswerving commitment to the voice of life. She is a brave poet writing true poems and I salute the music and courage of her work.
–Lucille Clifton, author of Blessing the Boats and MercyCamille Dungy has a garden of verses that spring up with the sunshine or hide with you in the dusk. “Cleaning” best sums up What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, an amazing poetry collection, when Dungy pens “understanding clearly/what is fatal to the body./I only understand too late/what can be fatal to the heart.” Take an ice tea and sit on the veranda or take a glass of wine and prop up in bed but whatever way you like your poetry, this book is a must.–Nikki GiovanniIn the title sequence of What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, Camille Dungy invites her readers to “taste/what the world has to offer.” It is a tall order and the author herself leads by example and fulfills it marvelously, offering a stunning first collection that is both sweet with the richness of life and laced with the bitterness of knowledge. Through lyrics, portraits, narratives, and monologues, she explores the intricate relationship between her own family and the human family, personal history and American history, the human world and the ways humans have treated the Earth. What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison, is a work of sweep, breadth, and abundance–a major and magnificent book.–Stuart Dischell, author of Evenings and Avenues