Hold It Down (Paperback)
Poetry. "Gina Myers' aptly-named HOLD IT DOWN chronicles the endless effort to keep a lid on hope, that feathered thing that must be denied so the rent can be paid. Everything else Pandora's box let loose has hung around boredom, sickness, loneliness but if hope gets out, it gets away. Moving among Brooklyn, Saginaw, and Atlanta, with a soundtrack looping Otis Redding and Johnny Cash, these poems forgo hipster irony for genuine dismay with consumerism, war, and others of the world's ills. Myers' lines break like hearts. Let her speak plainly to you: 'This is my life, / this is my life." Evie Shockley
"Like a flaneur walking an abandoned shopping mall past boarded up storefronts, Gina Myers surveys the streets of late capitalism recording wreckage in work that gives voice to our disappointment, fear, and longing for a place where we might find some rest. 'A kitchen table does not make a home, ' Myers reminds us. Moving 'in and out of / the security camera's range, ' from Brooklyn to Saginaw, the poems in HOLD IT DOWN trace our 'boom & bust, minus / the boom' and serve as testimony for 'those of us who still live here' at the edges of the economy." Susan Briante
"The poems in Gina Myers' HOLD IT DOWN seem part protest, part prayer, but not in the usual sense of either of those words. As the speakers confront a purgatorial daily grind of headlines, hangovers, debt, self-doubt, political and economic injustice, and the repeated mistakes of humankind, they never make the one 'of placing hope in seasons, / to look forward to the days to come & expect things to be better.' Instead they bear the unbearable, point at the sources of suffering and ask the question, who holds us down?" Laura Solomon
"Since Gina Myers' move to where I grew up, her poetry carries us, as a subway line, between the Brooklyn she left and the Bible Belt of dogwood trees and Atlanta MARTA buses. Myers' is a tale of the magical mundane and a long distance love with Saginaw: part Whitman ('I stop somewhere waiting') part Stein ('What I look forward to is, is '), and part Lorca ('Signs of summer: / tulips, baseball, & violence.'). You'll spy a heart not breaking and the work-a-day walk to happy hours in a city of drivers. You may not know where the places these poems came to life, 'but this is one / of them, one / of the best days' to visit." Amy King
"The city we mourn was an unsustainable promise made in a time of need, like a pension. Plural. Cities. Gina Myers narrates an American exodus with heartbreaking clarity and calm; she only wants to love her neighbor and do no harm. I want to say cheer up Nobody listened to Moses either. I want to say even more that when we finally make it past this time of brutality we repress so well, it will be important to remember what it felt like every day. HOLD IT DOWN is a beautiful, painful record of that psychic cost. Keep it safe for later. We're going to need it to live on." Jordan Davis.