Annik Adey-Babinski's debut poetry collection OKAY COOL NO SMOKING LOVE PONY is a tour-de-force, celebrating the unconventional through home videos, selfies, long distance travel in beat up cars, the “wild & poor.” From wonky O’Hara-esque meditations to tightly controlled lyric lines, OKAY COOL NO SMOKING LOVE PONY whoops it up in poetry land, palpable energy in every turn of phrase. When her postmodern “I” intrudes to ask, “How can I write this?/Do I have no reverence?” we readers answer, “Oh Annik! We have no idea, but we are so glad you wrote this book!”
--Denise Duhamel, Author of Blowout and KaChing!
When you open the cover of OK COOL NO SMOKING LOVE PONY expect an onrush of energetic language in a dazzle of forms, from pillow talk to Biblical wordplay to a sequence of Golden Shovels based on works by Yusef Komunyakaa. Annik Adey-Babinski examines modern American life from both the inside and the outside— “the tall dark and new/the red white and blue” – in a voice by turns whimsical, sensual and dreamily hypnotic. “Fill the room/with light and action,” she commands, so I suppose it’s no surprise that these poems are roomy, fulsome, action-packed and delightful.
--Campbell McGrath, Author of XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys
Annik Adey-Babinski’s clear-eyed debut, Okay Cool No Smoking Love Pony is a travelogue of open roads and wilderness, the loneliness of rural backwaters and the squalid company of the metropolis, the heartbreak of the actual and the terror of the imagined, [it is poetry as wide as America the place and America the emotion]. Revolting against her injustices, her loves, and her traumas, which bind her as implacably as Persephone’s pomegranate seeds to the hollowness of the remembered, Adey-Babinski forges onward, writing her escape, her after-story, and ultimately her transcendence along currents of the fantastic and surreal. This book is an odyssey of hope and becoming, it is an argument for inhabiting and succumbing to the cambium of magic that can be found just beneath our collective mundane.
--Chloe Garcia Roberts, Author of The Reveal, and translator of Li Shangyin's Derangements of My Contemporaries: Miscellaneous Notes