City Lights Spotlight Series No. 19
Review in the Paris Review
Feb 5, 2021
"Uche Nduka's Facing You is a collection whose relationship to meaning is abstract, haptic, immediate, associative, and gratifyingly dense all at once. Desire and carnality subsume both his syntax and poetry’s purpose—to plumb experience’s unspoken gaps, to find the phenomena there waiting to bloom. Nduka’s propositions are by turns political and erotic, provocative and punning, as these short, flinty and lushly irreverent poems buzz into focus, linger, flit away. It’s as close to hummingbirds as poetry can be. . . . In a season of solitude, Nduka’s work reminds me of the lyric’s double pleasure, belonging to itself and to others, and of its many shared mouths, speaking in compact, evocative language like glimmering beads of sweat."—Alicia Wright
Review in Hyperallergic
"Nduka's erotic poems are gentle, tender, and, for the most part, quite hot. . . . but such moments are surprising when they crop up, piquant or musty turns, unexpected and emphatic shots of physical punctation. More often, the poems’ erotic elements are part of a more general heightened, sexualized atmosphere, a kind of free-floating horniness or 'beautiful confusion' in which the desire to merge with the beloved is inextricable from the desire to create. . . . Facing You is by no means entirely erotica; it touches on a wide range of experience, including Nduka’s own Nigerian-American identity and the social crises of our moment."—Mark Scroggins
Review in New York Journal of Books
"Acclaimed poet Uche Nduka weaves a kind of simple intimacy into his collection, Facing You, opting for unsentimental sentimentality while also shattering any preconceived notions the reader may have of neologism and its use in poetry."—Veronica Schorr
"Spring 2020 Announcements: Poetry"
Dec 6, 2019
Facing You appears in Publishers Weekly's seasonal announcements list.