A 2003 New Issues Poetry Prize Selection
"Heidi Lynn Staples is our Demosthenes: when she carries pebbles in her mouth, her words turn from stone to life. But we are delighted to keep the stone, too. Here's how she does it: by comfortably embracing the wrong answers-'She was a word unto myself';'her air flowed / down past her ask, . . . and that drove him Why old?';' The Hose that Jake Belt'; 'coming up for err.' We are constantly surprised. Please read this fine orator, whose poems include the world's battiest job application, a melodious ghazal, pastiches on a nursery rhyme and on Plath, and a sonnet novel."
"Clinamen? Sinner man? Cinnamon? In her relentless pursuit of swerving meaning, Heidi Lynn Staples reinvents poetry word for word. Guess Can Gallop is a delight for ear and eye."
"Given the fluid and particalized linguistic foundations which disrupt clear apprehension of any single extraction, Staples, considerately, does not posit language against the reader (this is the disposition of the propagandist and didact) but positions the reader before a language (of angst), to gain in reading(s) a better idea of how identity confronts and conforms to an environment saturated with politically stagnant vernacular."
-Brad Flis, Octopus Magazine