These poems are kaleidoscopic and pulsing; their living focus shows us that instability too has its elegance, that thought like music is in movement. This is a vibrant, beautifully synaptic book."
— Dean Young
She's our poet-as-explorer, doing the human fieldwork in the world, right in her own back yard.
'"Around the head / stirs a haze of gases " says Sara Michas-Martin, an epistomological-poet, one who works stubbornly at Knowing (through the haze of gases) and simultaneously examines the equipment and mechanisms by which we attempt to know. What is an epistomological poet? One who might think something like this: Perception + Thought + Language + Memory = Experience? Or, as Michas-Martin does it, "I’ll try this once more / despite everyday distortions." It is that stubborn, intrepid threading-the-needle-kind-of-thinking that make the poems in Gray Matter fresh and reliable. These poems are personal, but not self-involved, intelligent but always accessible and humble about the fallibility of the intellect. She's our poet-as-explorer, doing the human fieldwork in the world, right in her own back yard. She never lies, and it is an illuminating experience to sit on her shoulder as she goes forward, reminding us what experience is: "it’s impossible / to name directly / a scent that opens on you / like a fire alarm /carrot yanked clear out of the ground."'
— Tony Hoagland
an extraordinary collection. I read it, neurons a-buzz, in a single, absorbed sitting.
"What do I know about poetry? Brains are my business. Well, I know this: great poetry takes the brain by surprise (not merely the reflective self) knocking the neurons out of kilter, just a little, but enough to shock them into fresh patterns of perception, if only for an instant. Gray Matter is an extraordinary collection. I read it, neurons a-buzz, in a single, absorbed sitting. I’m not sure that’s what one is supposed to do with poems as rich, visceral and playfully profound as these. But what do I know about poetry?"
"This eloquent work offers the reader a rare mix of lyrical intensity and abstract rigor. These are poems of inner adventure and outward event, the one sometimes easing into the other like figures at dusk. The narratives here are compelling and the craft hard-earned, making for a wonderful debut collection."
'"Laughter in the pantry," a deer's "antlers askew," an "echo of high heels," a lake of memory lapping — Michas-Martin conveys with startling clarity what only seems to have been lost. And those losses, with an eerie familiarity, are returned unto us, as our own. In these poems reader and author move together through kindred synapses of memory and desire as if the gray matter herein is shared or at least newly blown open for our mutual and wondrous scrutiny. The truth of Yeats' "In dreams begins responsibility" finds us through a heartfelt voice and a steely eye.'