Kind By Gretchen Primack
From Book Reviews/Interviews

Author: Gretchen Primack

Several Reviews

Publisher: Lantern Publishing & Media

Gretchen Primack
Kind by Gretchen Primack
Available at Lantern
Hardcover ISBN 978-1-59056-639-8
eBook ISBN 978-1-59056-640-4


“It is this poet’s calling to hold kindness and its opposite in tension. What is that opposite? The poems in this volume offer unsettling answers. With Gretchen Primack’s poems, the absence of kindness causes a quaking in our bodies. A lyrical language of the present tense evokes a fierce and tender impatience with what should never have been settled for.”
—Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat

“If it is true that one knows oneself best by observing how one treats others then this book of poems by Gretchen Primack is essential reading. Read these poems for the truth they tell about our relationship to and treatment of the creatures we take to be our property; read this book and ponder its many questions, for example ‘Who are the beasts?’ and ‘What can I do?’”
—Kazim Ali, author of The Voice of Sheila Chandra

“How often does one get starstruck by a poet? When I read Gretchen Primack’s animal poems, I was starstruck instantly. How could someone crystallize my own feelings about animals and humanity so beautifully, so powerfully, and so poignantly? Primack seems only capable of writing poetry so damn good that you will find yourself wanting to read it aloud to everyone you know who shares your compassion for animals…and to everyone you know who doesn’t.”
—Marisa Miller Wolfson, filmmaker of Vegucated

“Kind—an unassuming, everyday word, a word sprung from the Old English kin, meaning family—stitches this book together because each poem herein is an aching missive written to animals, poems of love and protest that refuse to bow down to our order of what is worthy and what is less than, to separate what is ‘born for love or commerce,’ to set apart what is human versus not. Each poem dissolves and reshapes these divisions with inexhaustible empathy and a ferocious determination that pleads— yea, even demands—kindness for all living beings.”
—Nickole Brown, author of To Those Who Were Our First Gods

“Gretchen Primack knows that animals ‘cannot forget hell for even a day, and so [she] cannot either.’ She is infused with an abnormal amount of empathy, which fills her heart with kindness, awe, and hope. She wants to live ‘somewhere else, somewhere kind,’ so she spends her time shifting into that place where every being matters, and she takes us with her.”
—Sharon Gannon, author of Magic is a Shift in Perception

About the Author:

Gretchen Primack is the author of two other collections, Visiting Days (Willow Books Editors Select Series 2019), set in a maximum-security men’s prison, and Doris’ Red Spaces (Mayapple Press 2014), as well as an earlier version of Kind (Post Traumatic Press 2012). She also co-wrote, with Jenny Brown, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals (Penguin Avery 2013). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, The Massachusetts Review, The Antioch Review, and other journals and anthologies. Primack has administrated and taught with college programs and poetry workshops in prison for many years, and she moonlights at an indie bookstore in Woodstock, NY. Reach out to her at

Return to Book Reviews