I know Justin Belote from the Summer Writing Seminar at Sarah Lawrence and had to pleasure to read many of his poems over the past couple of years as he attended VCU for his MFA. I just ordered myself a copy of his new chapbook Mixtape of the Unsaid on Edwin E. Smith Publishing. Looking forward to getting it!
The poems of J.S. Belote are lean, gracefully hewn, and above all able to extract the surreal from the quotidian with refreshing naturalness and urgency. These are haunting lyrics of dazzling promise. -David Wojahn
In stripped-down language braced with tensile emotional strength, J. S. Belote traverses the landscape of love and loss in Mixtape of the Unsaid, his first collection of poems. Whether speaking to seagulls of Nietzsche or meditating on the presence of absence in an empty red dress, these delicate and exacting meditative elegies resist both lament and hope in favor of reverence. Embracing emotionally associative connections in poems that create truth beyond memory, beyond the intellectual, the collection neither speaks about the world nor imitates it; rather the poems embody life s most authentic moments even as death stares on with eyes yellow and hollow. A serious and ambitious first collection, Belote s eye turns toward a world he names in startlingly fresh imagery, giving us work perfectly poised in the language of being. -Virginia Slachman