Gerard Sarnat comes lately to poetry but arrives with deep roots. We're immediately immersed in Gerry's ingenious transformation into Chassid Gesundheit Sarnatzky and his universal immigrant story.

Sarnat's real journeys include a surprise encounter absolutely alone with the Dalai Lama in the Dharamsala airport transit room; range from New Mexico commune to namesake Sarnath to Myanmar, Machu Picchu and Burning Man with his kids; to bridging Eurasian sides of the Bosporus, gaps with homeless patients, and a husband and wife's weak smiles.

Gerry's crackling brilliant debut collection is richly layered, engaging and really alive, irreverent and amusing, very strong, immensely enjoyable. Whether bringing pizza lunch to his 94 and 97 year-old parents, holding a daughter's newborn, or honoring sacred plants; one senses ground well traveled-though he often takes the other fork. I'd like to know this man!

—Joan Logghe, University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, Rice and other poetry collections