Reviews of Hush
This is a remarkable first book; for beauty and poise it ranks with James Wright’s The Green Wall; for originality it ranks with Ashbery’s Some Trees; for amplitude of feeling it stands alone, beyond any first book I can think of.- Mark Strand
David St. John’s imagination compels us precisely because the emotion has so moved us. His poems have the care if their convictions. They remind us again and again of the power of poetry when skill is equal to its source.- Stanley Plumly
This is a brilliant debut, a crafted work of evocation, nuance, mature and honed response.- Dick Allen
Insight into the carnal drift of things” is what David St. John offers in his powerful first book, These twenty-five poems—about love and desire, parent and child, ecstasy and death—speak uncompromisingly, and with a Rilkean intensity, for the experience and ambition of a generation coming into its own in a world of blinding contradictory vividness. Here is an inspired new lyric voice, both visionary and elegant, which makes sense of that world, a dazzling and adventurous departure from the stilted conventions and small gestures of most contemporary poetry.
The reach, control and penetration of David St. John’s work command admiration, and its music is magical. Hush marks the debut of an important new presence in American poetry.- Houghton Mifflin