Poetry collection by Gretchen Primack.
“Much like Marvin Gaye did in music, Gretchen Primack is committed to the task of telling the world ‘What’s Going On’ in poetry. She has taught in prisons, the reciprocal lessons of which she has taken on the mask to share. In writing about the invisible ones, the dis-carded ones, the mass incarcerated skeleton in America’s closet, Primack unapologetically affirms the fact of their existence–their routinely cruel, unusual punishments, and their humanity. This courageous work, authentic in the feel of its persona poems, masterful in its balance of poetic impressionism and realism, will ‘make you wanna holler / throw up both [your] hands.’”—Truth Thomas
“American prisons destroy people. They destroy those who live in them, and those who live outside them. The poems in Gretchen Primack’s Visiting Days raise the voices of those who live within them and America needs to hear these voices. These poems contemplate, weep, wonder, and command. These poems bear names like Ismail, Jacob, and Deneice. They rise up from places like East Wing, The Box, and The Yard. Most importantly, these poems ring with empathy, urging us to see these people, as people. Where prisons destroy, these poems ignite the fire that poetry tends: the burn that makes us human.”—Joseph Ross
“Like with Kind, her exquisitely crafted poetic argument for moral veganism, Gretchen Primack’s incredible empathy for the unconscionably caged emerges with her love for humanity on the elegantly rendered pages of Visiting Days. Her firsthand experiences with the incarcerated have resulted in characters so vivid and corporeal, I would have presumed the poems were biographical sketches of living, breathing human beings had it not been for the note clarifying that the volume is a work of fiction. Given the shameful reality that the U.S. reigns supreme as the nation imprisoning more of its people than any other, Visiting Days is vital—a volume that should be required reading for all.”—Kia Corthron
Gretchen Primack is the author of two other poetry collections, Kind (Post-Traumatic Press) and Doris’s Red Spaces (Mayapple Press). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Field, Poet Lore, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and other journals. She has administrated and taught with education programs in prison and jail for many years, and moonlights at an indie bookstore in Woodstock, NY.