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Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry

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A literary cookbook celebrating food and poetry, two of life's essential ingredients. In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Mark A literary cookbook celebrating food and poetry, two of life's essential ingredients. In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate. Eat This Poem opens us up to fresh ways of accessing poetry and lends new meaning to the foods we cook.


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A literary cookbook celebrating food and poetry, two of life's essential ingredients. In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Mark A literary cookbook celebrating food and poetry, two of life's essential ingredients. In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate. Eat This Poem opens us up to fresh ways of accessing poetry and lends new meaning to the foods we cook.

30 review for Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book arose from Gulottas blog of the same title. Its a luscious mix of food-themed poems none of which Id ever encountered before, even if certain of the poets were familiar to me (like Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds and Wendell Berry) commentary, personal anecdote and recipes that manage to hit the sweet spot in a Venn diagram between trendy, frugal, simple and indulgent. I could see myself making and eating any of these recipes, but my eye was particularly drawn to baked sweet potatoes with This book arose from Gulotta’s blog of the same title. It’s a luscious mix of food-themed poems – none of which I’d ever encountered before, even if certain of the poets were familiar to me (like Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds and Wendell Berry) – commentary, personal anecdote and recipes that manage to hit the sweet spot in a Venn diagram between trendy, frugal, simple and indulgent. I could see myself making and eating any of these recipes, but my eye was particularly drawn to baked sweet potatoes with maple yogurt, vanilla-pear crumble, butternut squash macaroni and cheese, olive oil pumpkin bread, and cornmeal waffles. It might seem like this is a book that would only have niche appeal, but I don’t think that’s the case. Whether you like to cook or just like to eat, whether you love poetry or struggle to understand it, I’d recommend this for pleasant occasional reading. It only misses out on five stars for me because some of the observations about the poems are fairly obvious and thus unnecessary; for the most part these are poems that speak for themselves. Favorite lines: (from Gulotta’s introduction) “The feeling in your heart when you are profoundly moved by a poem is the same satisfaction offered by the dessert course at the end of a very good meal. The soul, for a brief time, is shaken awake. Food and poetry are kindred spirits, you see, and there is a need in our lives for both. Food fills the stomach and keeps the body alive, but a poem fills the soul and nourishes the heart. … when we eat and when we read, we honor what was made for us to consume. We savor every last bite.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julia Torgrimso

    I would never have picked this book on my own but it was thrust upon me for book club. 'Thrust' is the proper word to use as I was grumpy about having to read this. A poetry book for book club! A cookbook for book club? Ugh! I sit here before you in total repentance. I love this book!!! For every poem there are three recipes. The poems are usually about food yet they are also about remembering and how food plays a huge part in our rememberings. I have tried out two recipes so far: Mushroom Brie I would never have picked this book on my own but it was thrust upon me for book club. 'Thrust' is the proper word to use as I was grumpy about having to read this. A poetry book for book club! A cookbook for book club? Ugh! I sit here before you in total repentance. I love this book!!! For every poem there are three recipes. The poems are usually about food yet they are also about remembering and how food plays a huge part in our rememberings. I have tried out two recipes so far: Mushroom Brie Quesidillas (my favourite lunch now) and blueberry bran muffins (these are quite yummy.). The recipes reflect how I cook which I am thankful for. I am off now to order my own copy 😃

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sabina Hahn

    I so wanted to love this book. A mix of poetry and cooking seems to be made for me. Unfortunately I was not wowed by either.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Narelle Richards

    What a truly glorious book - I really enjoyed spending time with these pages both for the poems and the recipes. I have to say my favourite poem was The Onion by Margaret Gibson which really spoke to me at the time because my family was driving quietly round the twist so I really felt the line ' I could stay in bed and be the woman who aches for no reason...' There so many poems I had never read before and that came to life because of the stories Nicole Gulotta told around them and the recipes she What a truly glorious book - I really enjoyed spending time with these pages both for the poems and the recipes. I have to say my favourite poem was The Onion by Margaret Gibson which really spoke to me at the time because my family was driving quietly round the twist so I really felt the line ' I could stay in bed and be the woman who aches for no reason...' There so many poems I had never read before and that came to life because of the stories Nicole Gulotta told around them and the recipes she shared beside them. Maple syrup added to Greek Yogurt as become my new secret vice and I'm gradually working my way through many of the recipes which are healthy, doable and yummy. It is a book that would make a wonderful gift for someone in your life who likes to read and likes to cook - it is the perfect flavour. Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to explore such an interesting book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    I took months to read this book because I wanted to savor each poem, each meditation, each recipe. A beautiful, beautiful book for people who love language and good food.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Bradbury

    Both the cook and the poet are makers. One holds a knife, the other a pen. One grinds fresh pepper over a mound of tender lettuce, while the other adds a period to the end of a sentence or a dash to the end of a line. With available ingredientsvegetables and herbs, rhymes and wordslayers of flavor and meaning are infused in the pan and composed on the page. I am by no means a chef, but I am a sucker for heartfelt poetry. What a wonderful concept! My favorite poems were Blueberry by Diane “Both the cook and the poet are makers. One holds a knife, the other a pen. One grinds fresh pepper over a mound of tender lettuce, while the other adds a period to the end of a sentence or a dash to the end of a line. With available ingredients—vegetables and herbs, rhymes and words—layers of flavor and meaning are infused in the pan and composed on the page.” I am by no means a chef, but I am a sucker for heartfelt poetry. What a wonderful concept! My favorite poems were Blueberry by Diane Lockward, Tree by Jane Hirshfield, and Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo (I love Joy Harjo). Let’s be realistic here—I’m probably never going to make any of these recipes for myself. Not only do I disdain kitchen prep, clean up, and most things in-between, but a lot of these meals sound gross to me anyways, because apparently I’m uncultured and tasteless. Food allergies abound in my household, where someone inevitably ends up vomiting if the wrong ingredient gets mixed in and every meal has to be screened, approved, and cross-examined between everyone’s lists. Let’s just say I did not dive into this looking for new recipes, rather I was drawn in by the premise and the promise of poetry. Nevertheless, I’m so glad to have experienced this unique book and all the surprising emotions it gave me. I loved Gulotta’s brief analysis of each poem, and how the selected pieces correspond to the following recipes. I loved her little stories between recipes, which I normally find annoying on blogs, but in a book I suppose I found it endearing. Each meal was special to her and it showed. Another pro is that I learned what granita is, and now I want to learn what it tastes like. 5/5 sugary stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paige Pagnotta

    "We should remember how time does not know the day is different. Our own trappings and ceremonies welcome the change with cake and champagne, causing a shift in our bodies and minds, yet on January 1, the same sun rises as the day before. With this in mind, we can start again any morning we choose. We can gather together whenever we need to, sharing a meal and conversation, and start fresh over and over again."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeimy

    A cookbook disguised a collection of poemsor vice versathis book contains a hanful of recipes I am willing to try out. I enjoyed all the poems contained within its pages. A cookbook disguised a collection of poems—or vice versa—this book contains a hanful of recipes I am willing to try out. I enjoyed all the poems contained within its pages.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Stevens

    Two of my favorite things (poetry, recipes) in one beautiful volume. And an awful lot of heart and transparency from the author. A tough sell I think, but a wonderful success!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Made this 'not-a-poetry-person' person see verse and language in a new light. The recipes are lovely toocan't wait to try more of them. Made this 'not-a-poetry-person' person see verse and language in a new light. The recipes are lovely too—can't wait to try more of them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liaken

    The four stars are for the poems. Delicious. I didn't get into the recipes, etc. Just devoured the poetry. A good picking.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Free Netgalley ARC for an honest review. "I came here hungry, I came here wanting," read the lines of a poem in the very middle of the text, putting poetic word to the feelings that had crescendoed in my blood on the receipt and opening of this text as someone who delights deeply in the arts of both poetry and cooking. This book should be enjoyed first, not in a kitchen, but in an armchair with a glass of red wine, curled up close to the pages. When I first saw the synopsis on this book, I can Free Netgalley ARC for an honest review. "I came here hungry, I came here wanting," read the lines of a poem in the very middle of the text, putting poetic word to the feelings that had crescendoed in my blood on the receipt and opening of this text as someone who delights deeply in the arts of both poetry and cooking. This book should be enjoyed first, not in a kitchen, but in an armchair with a glass of red wine, curled up close to the pages. When I first saw the synopsis on this book, I can admit I expected it to fall flat of any meager expectations, but it is divinely decadent. Each section starts with poem, and then there is a page following it discussing the meanings, emotion, imagery, and usage of some kitchen artifact from within that poetry. Then the recipes that follow it are in the perfect line for matching both of those. I appreciated with relish and surprise, the section on tea (and I plan to try for this Earl Grey delicacies already) and the one on eating alone, and how that, too, should be relished with shameless gluttony and the same winning celebration of anything afforded a group. This books is an endless array of glittering jewels, for the mind and the palate, and I cannot recommend it enough. To close with words from a poem in it, as well as open, "Don't wait. Bite in."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Elizabeth

    I love cookbooks and have a bad habit of collecting some of the interesting ones I come across. This one will be added to my collection (got a digital copy to review). My love of cooking is growing steadily to match my love of literature and poetry. This book combines poetry, analysis of the poems, stories from the author, and recipes. Each section of this book has a few poems that connect with the recipes in that section. So a poem about blueberries is followed by a quick analysis from Nicole I love cookbooks and have a bad habit of collecting some of the interesting ones I come across. This one will be added to my collection (got a digital copy to review). My love of cooking is growing steadily to match my love of literature and poetry. This book combines poetry, analysis of the poems, stories from the author, and recipes. Each section of this book has a few poems that connect with the recipes in that section. So a poem about blueberries is followed by a quick analysis from Nicole which then ties into the following recipes. Some of the recipes have stories to explain while Nicole included them in this collection. In so many cases of the cookbooks I collect (many from celebrity chefs) I don't end up making any of the dishes because they are too 'fancy' for my style of cooking. This book has some of those, but also some easy and simple recipes that will easily find their way into my kitchen. I'm a member of a CSA and a lot of what I get from the farm this summer will be used to cook from this cookbook. For the few recipes that call for canned items, I was happy to see that her recommended brands can be purchased at my small local grocery store. If you love poetry and you love cooking, I think this book would make a good addition to your collection.

  14. 5 out of 5

    KayCee K

    Eat This Poem is quite a different poetry and recipes book; it's nothing I've seem before. The layout of the this book goes, a poem, a bit from the author and then recipes that go along with the poem. My three favorite poems in this book is How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam, The Orange by Campbell Mcgath, and Tea by Jehanne Dubrow. After the poem Tea by Jehanne Dubrow there is a recipe called Earl Grey Short Bread Cookies. They sound amazing, I really want to try them. This book wasn't just Eat This Poem is quite a different poetry and recipes book; it's nothing I've seem before. The layout of the this book goes, a poem, a bit from the author and then recipes that go along with the poem. My three favorite poems in this book is How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam, The Orange by Campbell Mcgath, and Tea by Jehanne Dubrow. After the poem Tea by Jehanne Dubrow there is a recipe called Earl Grey Short Bread Cookies. They sound amazing, I really want to try them. This book wasn't just filled with poetry, and recipes but parts about the author and her past with poem and food; this made the book even more enjoyable! I know a few poets I would love to give this book too!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Brooks

    I have a thing for literary cookbooks, and Eat This Poem doesn't disappoint. I've only tried one recipe so far with several others in the menu in the weeks to come, but I'm confident giving it 5 stars anyway. Eat This Poem got me in the habit of reading poetry again (better yet, reading it to my kids). Nicole's short introductions to each recipe are spot on, and the writing throughout is truly lovely.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Degan Walters

    A lovely mash up of recipes and poems (about food). I enjoyed both but neither wowed me and I found the explications of the theme a bit tiresome. I think I wanted the whole thing to be more luscious inviting me to eat and instead I found it asking me to think.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Story Circle Book Reviews

    I couldn't resist reading Eat This Poem, especially during April, National Poetry Month. Actually, I'm a fan of poetry and food all months of the year. Nicole Gulotta is too so good for her for blending her two passions, along with writing, in this delightful collection of poetry and recipes. "Food and poetry are kindred spirits," Gulotta says as well as a "natural pairing." Poetry came first for Gulotta when her tenth grade English teacher had the class memorize a poem. Gulotta composed a poem I couldn't resist reading Eat This Poem, especially during April, National Poetry Month. Actually, I'm a fan of poetry and food all months of the year. Nicole Gulotta is too so good for her for blending her two passions, along with writing, in this delightful collection of poetry and recipes. "Food and poetry are kindred spirits," Gulotta says as well as a "natural pairing." Poetry came first for Gulotta when her tenth grade English teacher had the class memorize a poem. Gulotta composed a poem of her own and following high school went on to become an English major and to study poetry in graduate school. Over time "literary journals were replaced by food magazines, and poetry writing gave way to food writing." She had kept her poetry books though and after many years during which time "poetry had slipped away," Gulotta opened a cabinet of books saved from her college years. When she took The First Four Books of Poems by Louise Gluck down off the shelf, she realized "a part of you is imprinted inside," when you see passages you've underlined or noted in some way. While reading "Baskets" by Gluck, Gulotta followed the speaker into a market, watching her pick up lettuces. Suddenly, Gulotta wanted salad. She started conjuring up recipes while reading poetry and came up with the concept of Eat This Poem. She posted her first blog with that title in January 2012. In her book, four sections explore the way food and poetry intersect in the kitchen. Some of the recipes are adapted from those of her maternal grandmother Edna who was a food writer throughout the 1960s. All the recipes begin with Gulotta's personal stories about them including memories of Thailand; travel to Italy, the land of her ancestors; or eating Cornmeal Waffles at the Tea Room Cafe in Petaluma, California. There are lovely drawings throughout. Louise Gluck's poem, "Basket," is in Part Two, "On Moments in Time." Gulotta reflects on the poem: "There is a strong sense of reconciling abundance with loss and solitude, recognizing beauty in the moment yet realizing 'nothing is fixed,' and life is temporary." The recipes that follow this particular poem and reflection include Slow Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Kale Caesar Salad with Paprika Croutons. My favorite poets are included in the book. Among them are Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield, Naomi Shihab Nye and Philip Levine. I was also introduced to poets I hadn't read before. Jehanne Dubrow's beautiful sonnet entitled "Tea" precedes recipes for Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies and Almond Poppy Seed Scones. Joy Harjo's marvelous poem, "Perhaps the World Ends Here," is in Part Four "On Gathering". In the poem, Harjo describes the kitchen table and all that happens from gossip through birth, preparation for burial, praying, and giving thanks. "This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun," Harjo writes. Gulotta includes recipes for comfort food including Oregano Roast Chicken and Perfectly Simple Green Beans. It seems like the icing on the cake or dessert after a delicious meal to end the book with "How to Eat a Poem" by Eve Merriam. A poem, the poet writes, "is ready and ripe now, whenever you are." Besides the wonder of the poems and the author's thoughtful insights about them, the recipes are enticing. All of the pairings are meant to be savored. How wonderful it will be to have poems in the kitchen not only dog-eared but splashed with remnants of various meals enjoyed. To end with the author's words: "So let us raise a glass in gratitude as often as we are able and discover the poetry in our daily lives, especially in the kitchen." by Mary Ann Moore for Story Circle Book Reviews reviewing books by, for, and about women

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbette

    Eat this Poem is an inspiration. In our contemporary world, where ready made food calls from every corner, the act of cooking for ourselves has become a form of meditation and connection. So a book that brings together twenty five poems and perhaps four times as many recipes makes perfect sense. Preparing a meal and reading a poem are experiences that call for us to slow down and offer our attention. Eat this Poem is also lovely to behold as a physical object. Its format, size, graphics, fonts, Eat this Poem is an inspiration. In our contemporary world, where ready made food calls from every corner, the act of cooking for ourselves has become a form of meditation and connection. So a book that brings together twenty five poems and perhaps four times as many recipes makes perfect sense. Preparing a meal and reading a poem are experiences that call for us to slow down and offer our attention. Eat this Poem is also lovely to behold as a physical object. Its format, size, graphics, fonts, drawings, even the thick paper cover all reflect the content within perfectly. I suspect its small size might turn some cookbook lovers off; we are used to the glossy, the bright, and the oversized on the cookbook aisle. But its diminution is one of the reasons it is a great everyday cookbook. It fits in your bag to take to the store. (I often leave mine in my backpack so I can shop the farmer’s market or the grocery across from work with recipes in tow). Its imperceptible weight means you can pack it in your suitcase for a trip where you will have access to a kitchen. And its book-like presence stacks with other novels on the coffee table without looking out of place. Which means it gets picked up and enjoyed frequently. The recipes are all made with fresh and basic ingredients and nothing is too complicated for those with some kitchen experience. The emphasis, poem-like, is on freshness and simplicity. Herbs play a large part. Just two months after purchasing a copy, five of the recipes (including Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, and Basil Pesto as well as Rosemary and Brown Butter Popcorn) ) have already become part of my repertoire of go-to basics. Poets featured include Jane Hirshfield, Billy Collins, and Margaret Gibson. Author Nicole Gulotta follow each poem with a simple analysis, meditating on themes like “Occasionally it is good for us to become small.” Gulotta has created and endearing and useful work. This is a special little book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I've been following Nicole on social media for a few years now and have been watching her journey to bring this book to life from afar. The finished product is a beautiful blend of memoir, cookbook, and reflections on living a thoughtful, food-enhanced, life. I haven't cooked anything from it yet -- I wanted to relish the narrative first -- but I plan to and am thrilled that it features many vegetarian recipes. (And a strawberry cake that I may just have to bake for my own birthday this year.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kris Dersch

    I really like the concept of this but in the end it just wasn't for me. The recipes were too convoluted, the poetry to one note and spread out. I think you have to be a better chef than I am to appreciate it. I made a few of the recipes, they called for a lot of ingredients and didn't to me end up worth the investment. It then sat on my shelf for a long time while I thought...I'll just make that one more recipe and read the rest of the poems...and it never happened, so I'm giving myself I really like the concept of this but in the end it just wasn't for me. The recipes were too convoluted, the poetry to one note and spread out. I think you have to be a better chef than I am to appreciate it. I made a few of the recipes, they called for a lot of ingredients and didn't to me end up worth the investment. It then sat on my shelf for a long time while I thought...I'll just make that one more recipe and read the rest of the poems...and it never happened, so I'm giving myself permission to let it go.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Faith

    This is a wonderful, subtle book that combines the genres of poetry, cooking/food writing, and memoir. The included poems are meaningful and resonant. I'm planning to use this book for a fall writing class, and I look forward to my students' reactions. This would be a good text for a poetry class, a cooking class, or a memoir class as well as a food-writing course.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Cooking and Poetry Cooking and poetry for together so well. The poems in this book were wonderful. I was inspired.but the food was so intriguing. I found so many I want to try.I especially am interested in those recipes using things right out of the garden. I know I will be rereading this book as well as eating meals using these recipes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I simply loved the beauty of both poetry and the art of cooking weaved into one in the wonderful book. This is a book that I would love to own and reference often not only for the beautiful poems but the approachable and deliciously simple recipes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Georgia

    I really enjoyed the collection of poems- eclectic and beautiful. My only complaint in this great book is the author's explanations of what the poet meant by the work. It felt a little SparkNotes-y at times, and I prefer to be given more space for interpretation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Poems that stopped by heart...and started it up again - plus a ton of fabulous recipes. This book is a win-win for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ceillie Simkiss

    I wouldn't eat most of the food in this book because I'm picky as hell, but the poetry was stunning and really got my thinking about my food memories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eniko Rozsa

    Fun collection of recipes and poems. Great combo if you are a foodie and like creative writing!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    A wonderful collection of poems about food and following each poem, several actual recipes to try - along with the author's memory about the food. Great fun book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laine

    How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merrimam Dont be polite. Bite in. Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice ... How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merrimam Don’t be polite. Bite in. Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice ...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    A feast for the senses - all of them! Nicole writes recipes that are easy to follow and with a nice description of what they mean to her. Her poetry selections are first-rate!

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