The Iowa Poetry Prize, 2017
“The Fix is ruthless, sleepless, vigilant, obsessive: a profound work of mystery and matter, of power and pleasure, in which any singular truth is always just a step ahead, a bit beyond reach, below sight line. The multiplicity of meanings, however, blossom at a touch, on sight. What to call this book’s voluptuous precision of murk—its world both so ‘blown open’ and yet so attentive to beauty? This new voice is so strange it sounds familiar, like family unforgivable or a lover who’s never over, or like a kind of food only grown on alien soil but which tastes disturbingly like your childhood. Here, every line is a surprise, a curve, a path this visionary poet cut just this moment, for you to travel deep and emerge altered by this, her stark dark knowing. You’ll read this brilliant book again and again looking for the way back from it.” —Brenda Shaughnessy, 2017 Iowa Poetry Prize judge
“Full and luscious as a grape before wine-making or a moon before love-making, the poems in The Fix live in a roadside space that’s earthy, sensual, erotic and wild. Lisa Wells writes by feel, shaping, kneading and bending the line the way a potter builds a ceramic vessel from the bottom up, coiling around a central idea until it’s solid, visible and ready to be marveled at.” —D. A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
“The Fix is perfectly executed. It’s always poetry, yet it never strains to be poetry; it’s flush with nervous and yet confidently-directed energy; its most striking moments are never haphazard, but are surprising and indelible. It doesn’t read like a first book, it reads like a book for life.” —Shane McCrae, author of In the Language of My Captor
“Some surmise all illness is blockage, imprisoned ch’i. The solution must be found in the dissolution, Eros born out of Chaos and the dark nights of the soul. But as Lisa Wells knows all too well, a fix is just that, a habitual stay against the moment’s decay, and in these corporeal poems equal parts binge and purge, one can only wonder what rough bitch slouches down low to be reborn in a Paradise as dirty and comfy as a trucker’s blown rig.” —Timothy Liu, author of Don’t Go Back to Sleep.