Blood on Blood, Unknown Press, November 22nd, 2016



barnes & noble




“A striking vision of Springsteen’s iconic Nebraska, Devin Kelly’s Blood on Blood is a great example of the potential of the ekphrastic form: communicating so deeply with another work of art that a whole new work and world springs forth. Stretching beyond the songs, the poems spread wide their lyric virtuosity, exploring the beautiful, tragic and tender American condition.”


—Bianca Stone, author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You, Beautiful Mutant, and I Saw The Devil With His Needlework


“The poems in Blood on Blood are both fan fiction & testament. Devin Kelly vividly sketches out the lives of characters from Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska album. A serial killer is decked out in “a suit all paisley / & pink” & a girl “dips a French fry / in her coke.” Kelly’s images are bewitching & luminous. His phrasing captures the swerves & pauses of spoken speech. The poems also testify to the eternal-but-fleeting bonds between father & son & between brothers. In one poem, a speaker, remembering a car ride with his deceased father, says, “You are so much his you cannot contain / your love.” Confession: I cried when I read those lines. Kelly’s poems are full of small mercies & blood-warm insights. I highly recommend this book.”
–Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning


“Devin Kelly is a master storyteller. He weaves together mysterious lyricism with narrative so naturally and effectively, I feel like I know the narrator like myself, but am excitedly intrigued by the ghostly presence of all the characters. Each poem makes me want to know more, makes me hungry for details and more lines. Kelly takes surprising turns and twists while telling it like it is, such as in this line: “God’s a good lie. & even God knows.” He’s definitely a poet to watch.”


– Joanna C. Valente, author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea


“This is poetry to live with. Devin Kelly is an American writer who’s spun life and song into a traveling tale of petty crime, of a blue kind of violence, of love at dusk and dawn, and of God (whoever she is). Kelly’s is a world of meaning and unmasking, an astonishing poetry of loss and becoming.”

– A.M. Davenport, editor of Full Stop and The Scofield.


“Kelly goes between the songs, between the words, the notes. He keeps going until he hits marrow. This isn’t tribute. It’s the work we knew was inside Springsteen’s masterpiece all along.”


– William Lessard, author of Rembrandt with Cellphone