“Hull inhabits a decaying universe swirling with trashed hopes and the ashes of burned-out desire. . . . The poet’s wayward voice perfectly matches her vision, her images and setting often stumbling into each other for chaotic effect. This is an intensely felt, finely wrought body of work.”—Publishers Weekly
“Hull shows a refreshing concern for the integrity of the line, exploring with daunting skill the pulse and clench of vowels and consonants within a rhythmic unity. . . . the breadth and scope of Hull’s moral vision are what make her poems truly rare. . . . No one is writing any quite like them today.”—Harvard Book Review
“Throughout, Hull’s unflinching attention, her ‘silent complicity,’ is with the outsider—the poor, the misunderstood, the excluded. Her voice is as likely to bear a slap in the face as a drugged caress; her speakers want a poetry able to contain the whole ‘shuddering world,’ even if embracing the world means losing themselves. That’s the exacting wisdom of this book.”—Poetry
“In the world of Star Ledger, possibility and desire collide with drunkenness and addiction, with failed relationships and faceless, anonymous men. It’s the world of the bad bet, cruddy perfume, sucker punch and scam, the many colors and sounds of disillusionment. . . . In this fine, unsettling but very readable collection, Lynda Hull’s got what it takes.”—American Poetry Review
“Hull’s poems show an immersion in the rough-edged, garish details of the world, and—almost antithetically—a removal from that world in the form of a refusal to control, comment, or qualify. They persist in a sympathetic wonder that strikes the reader as contemporary and wholly genuine.”—Prairie Schooner
“Hull’s second book is full of poems in which history, narrative complexity, symbolism, and the lyricism of a passionate voice all work together. . . . [She] knows something about life and death and in her poetry she tells us what they are like. She does not hide her knowledge or lack of it in ruptured syntax or aimless discursiveness. She seeks and finds the connections and makes them with the experience of one who has returned from the underworld with a fire inside.”—Hudson Review
In this dark but finally redemptive group of poems, the tawdry and the exquisite must coexist: Star Ledger may evoke images of the celestial, but it is also the name of the Newark morning newspaper. Such ironies continually inform Hull’s poetry, which is tough and uncompromising but richly veined with a musicality and a lyrical texture that recall earlier epics of the American city such as The Bridge and Paterson.