Quincy R. Lehr is a poetry Jacobin and a writer of the front line. His new collection serves as both a contemporary master class in rhyme and meter and a continuously provocative reflection on the tattered yet still battling condition of the human will-to-utopia in the early years of the 21st century. I read it in one sitting, energized and inspired by his unflinching witness of the darkness of our time and, most of all, by his refusal, at any point, to cave into nihilism — that safe and easy option taken by so many Western intellectuals. This is one for the hopeful who still have their eyes and their minds wide open and are waiting for the call.

— Dave Lordan


Quincy R. Lehr is highly unusual and distinctive, for all that he engages as much as anyone with the Tradition. Were this an album review, where such sweeping comparisons are more acceptable, I would more happily ask you to imagine the ghosts of O’Hara and Byron; though that won’t quite do, because Lehr’s poetry is nothing if it is not a poetry for our times. Lehr writes poems that make me laugh outrageously, and poems that make me think hard about the world I inhabit, and poems that make me do both.

— Rory Waterman


I’m not sure Quincy R. Lehr knows the difference between affectations & addictions, punches & prayers. His topics, or his targets, include the greatest generation, world music, special interest porn, the “billboard sea of kitsch,” Macbeth, “that prick Baudrillard,” and God. Like Mike Tyson, Lehr says “I’ll fight any man, any animal. If Jesus were here, I’d fight him, too.” And he blasphemes like a true believer hurt as hell.

— Robert Archambeau


Quincy R. Lehr’s latest contains epigraphs from the Sex Pistols, Deuteronomy, and Nazim Hikmet. The poems are, accordingly, full of attitude and rude desperation, intricate imploring, pleasing sounds, and clean, tight construction. Behind the bravado is the sound of a brave front crumbling — perhaps the poet’s, perhaps New York’s, perhaps America’s. The Dark Lord of the Tiki Bar is like a late-night bar conversation, full of humor and regret, landing like a punch or prayer. Highly recommended.

— Susan Millar DuMars



Quincy R. Lehr is the author of three chapbooks — William Montgomery (2006), William Montgomery’s Guide to New York City (2008), and Shadows and Gifts (2013) — and three full-length books of poetry — Across the Grid of Streets (2008), Obscure Classics of English Progressive Rock (2012), and Heimat (2014). His poetry and criticism appear widely in North America, Europe, and Australia, and he is the associate editor of The Raintown Review. He lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches history.