"In this book a series of delicately rendered stories begin—and, then, continually begin. If one imagines the strange happiness of first glancing at a watercolor image depicting the transformation of a person into an animal or monster, plant or object, that initial pleasurable confusion at what it is we see Story Book returns us again and again to this region of (uneasy) excitement and exciting unease."
—Lucy Ives, author of Impossible Views of The World
"Story Book invites you into the opening pages of more than a dozen tales as violent and haunting as anything in Grimms. Again and again, and with a queasy intimacy, Piccinnini puts his readers directly in touch with the way of all flesh, the tendency of bodies to sour, rot, rip, stiffen, and decay. In doing so, he creates a lyricism of unrest and violence unlike anything in American fiction."
—Chris Hosea, author of Double Zero
"Douglas Piccinnini is a poet who causes space—verbal, figural space—to contract, inducing a negative lyric that reverses the expansive release characteristic of positive versions of poetic epiphany." -
- Andrew Joron, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion
"What can I assert about Douglas Piccinnini's poems when they take such great care to dismantle assertions, piling their bits into a heap? Assertions are made with words, and from this heap he gives them back to the world his way, and he knows what he's doing. George Oppen said, "if word A must be next to word B, GET it there." Piccinnini always does, according to the mystery that his ear recognizes. "One way of grieving / a dethroned self" is through the creation of a nugatory poetic universe where no dark night is blunted but there is always an unlit match, which is to say, meaning."
- Stacy Szymaszek, author of Hart Island
“He has done it―written poems of a gnarled toughness that can’t be taken apart, chewed up, seen through. Douglas Piccinnini has set the mark for new poems of a terrific integrity, unsmiling (their humor is deep down, waiting); poems sharply seeing. Seeing, for instance, that the mathematical universe is maddeningly out of synch with the negative numbers of the daily emotions that cannot catch up with the day: ‘what’s this dumb rope to cling to.’ Where is the sum? The transcendence? ‘All the coin towers / tooth down.’”