Perfectly Normal cover
Perfectly Normal (cover)


Poems by Wyatt TownleyThe Smith

Wyatt's debut collection of poems explores the narrowing distance between despair and revelation. It takes on the big themes of youth—passion, love, and death—and lands firmly on the side of life.

Some say the first birth is the hardest. Perfectly Normal took Wyatt seventeen years to write, but much of that time was spent finding her voice (and saving her life).

$9.95 • 79 pages • 5.5X8.5"
Published by The Smith
© 1990 Wyatt Townley
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Reviews | Comments

"An intense voice, articulate and accessible…[Townley] writes viscerally. Her words establish imagery that sometimes takes flight and sometimes strafes the reader with quick and macabre juxtapositions. You feel drawn to the next poem, but with apprehension. What will she do to me now?"

The Topeka Capitol-Journal

"Perfectly Normal is poetry that jumps off the page, startling the reader with its irreverence and originality….If you're looking for poetry that challenges you and presents a flip side of life, this book will please you beyond your wildest expectations."

Sun Newspapers

"[Townley] displays a highly charged sense of language, packaging outrage, sensuality and humor in a crisp, accessible style."

The Kansas City Star

"A verbal delight explodes in these pages. In a time of plastic poetry, here's the real thing. I welcome this debut."

—Norman Rosten

"The work is spunky and irreverent and confident and sensitive and hungry and sensual and gulping and delirious…a chilly and exhilarating course."

—Michael Coffey, editor of Small Press

"Wyatt Townley's fresh, often startling poems win my assent."

—James Merrill

"The love poems are attractively passionate, indeed attractively violent…and the reader feels in the presence of a presence."

—Paul Fussell

"Brava, Wyatt Townley! [The poems] are fresh, exciting, full of play and drama, unexpected turns, swiveling and kicking."

—Colette Inez

"Perfectly Normal: abnormally good poems. Nothing about Wyatt Townley is 'perfectly normal.'"

The Ledger