In Born Knowing, Lisa Grunberger is in conversation not only with her own past, in multi-voiced evocations of her parents, but also with a literary heritage that includes the Hebrew Bible, Chekhov, Kafka, Appelfeld and Joyce. These poems––narrative, lyrical, highly experimental and profoundly Jewish, give poignant and playful expression to a shared international, cosmopolitan literary culture.
To the implacable presence of the collective past, Born Knowing adds the poignancy of a singular present continually slipping away, in poems that are pungent, idiosyncratic, often audacious, sometimes elegiac, laced with a sharp irony in which “even the rams laugh at [Abraham’s] song of praise.” Here, too is exuberance, an appetite for life carried in the cadenced lines that like a runner or a dancer, opens the space that their movement creates.
––Eleanor Wilner, MacArthur Award recipient,
author of The Girl With Bees in Her Hair
When so many poets hide behind irony, Lisa Grunberger is refreshingly honest. This is the voice of a forty-year-old Jewish woman neither young nor old, waiting to womb the world. The poems speak with unashamed intensity of a woman's need to integrate sacred memories of grandparents who fled Nazi Germany, her parents and her childhood, with deep yearnings for love and for a child of her own. In Lisa Grunberger's words we hear the cries of the grandchild of refugees and are privileged to listen to the echoes
––Micheal O'Siadhail, author of The Gossamer Wall