Winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award 2011
Honorable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival
Honorable Mention, New England Book Festival
A Valparaiso Poetry Review Recommended Book
Trembles with belonging (and longing).
– The New York Times
She invents words for something that does not yet exist. – Calyx
In Nathalie Handal’s book Love and Strange Horses, this important young poet addresses the need we have as humans to relate to each other, to work for the genuine intimacy she believes is vital to life. Her work is a brilliant elegance. To find a similarly fresh and innovative look at the old subject of love in a book by a young poet, I would have to turn to Neruda.
– Afaa Weaver
Nathalie Handal’s Love and Strange Horses is riddled with provocative incantations that verge on a conjuring solidly based in this world and beyond. There’s a subtle singing locked inside each poem that raises the stakes. This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders. The pages are lit with scintillations that transport the reader to pithy zones of thought and pleasure.
– Yusef Komunyakaa
Sometimes we have questions that seem to defy answers or even suppositions but then we find Love and Strange Horses to help us map out a course to continue loving life. A really wonderful, thoughtful read by an intriguing voice.
– Nikki Giovanni
Love and Strange Horses is a densely-textured book… As a young and inventive poet who sees herself as world citizen, Handal's insightful perspectives on the polarities of desire and love's potential for healing are not only heroic, they are valuable.
– Lake Affect Magazine
A well-crafted example of what the contemporary poetry world has to offer. Handal, a French-American who has lived and worked all over the world, brings us a vivid narrative, using colorful, sometimes heart-wrenching language. Handal's ear for language and ability to see the world a little differently than most people sets her apart from some of her poet peers, making Love and Strange Horses a book certainly worth reading.
– The Greyhound
If you . . . enjoy reading poetry that challenges y our thinking, that makes your synapses fire and the brain’s pleasure center sort of stand up and go ‘Oooh,’ then I highly recommend ‘Love and Strange Horses.’
– Avatar Review
For a collection that embraces Norse mythology as readily as Christianity or, for that matter, Arabic as readily as English, it is a surprise that Love and Strange Horses transcends multiculturalism. Akin to how a symphony resonates in Naples the same way it does in Nashville, Nathalie Handal’s poetry pushes against the restraints of culture and even (at times) language. —Poetry international
The cadence of Nathalie Handal’s voice resembles her nomadic life… her voice has the mellifluous tinge of a French accent.
– Mail & Guardian
Handal’s lyric poetry is riddled with the music of questioning. What is strength? What is love? Her poems do what poetry does best. They call us to question and own our humanity, clear-eyed, staunchly, regardless of culture, religion or gender—like a candle burning, softly vivid, a pure flame on the table of our global human tribe.
– Levantine Culture Center
High-Octane poetry, an intense and committed personal poetics . . . we should thank her for the space and energy of this book.
With a journalist’s eye, a blind man’s ear and a troubador’s voice, Handal creates tableaus of lovers who seem always to be looking for love, even when they have found it. They yearn for love, approach it, confront it. She writes about the gentle pathos of love with the same fearlessness we find in her poems of exile, isolation and war.
– Reading Eagle
Her irresistible charm comes through on every page as it does in person. It is a privilege to be able to read her verses. On every page is a discovery, and with every discovery, another one waiting. Her distinctive poetic voice takes her around the globe. And indeed she should be celebrated and read.
– This Week in Palestine
Nathalie Handal es una de las nuevas voces poéticas más significativas de la literature contemporánea.