The speakers of Bush’s poems are consistently exploring accidents and mishaps, often discovering that coincidence is a myth. The language is by turns subdued and explosive, controlled but unpredictable, giving Licorice the hint of mayhem in an otherwise perfectly-ordered world.
“I’ve been savoring Ellen C. Bush’s poems for over a dozen years. They are keen, ominous, and darkly witty, like thrilling but unsettling dreams. Licorice is noir poetry at its best.” —Michael McFee
“The poems of Licorice are compact yet explosive and overpowering, like the root from which the book takes its name. Yet to offer these poems the common words of praise seems somehow wrong, almost blasphemous, as reading Ellen C. Bush’s laconic masterpieces, I feel I have been careless each time I’ve opened my mouth and that I must learn to speak again, using this book as my grammar.” — Jake Adam York
“In Ellen Bush’s poems dreams seep out into broad daylight, and the everyday waking mind infiltrates dreams. Her poems search out and articulate the intimate, the immediate, the quick, the painful, with a wonderful compression, a touching and knowing of alternate lives haunted by voices at once strange and familiar. These poems are by turns laments for estrangement, celebrations of kinship.” — Robert Morgan