Lion Brothers by Leona Sevick


Lion Brothers by Leona Sevick


Winner of the 2017 Press 53 Award for Poetry

A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

9 x 6 paperback, 78 pages

ISBN 978-1-941209-52-3

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Praise for Lion Brothers

Leona Sevick’s Lion Brothers is a psychologically astute, keen, and powerful sequence of poems that harness the luminous particulars of experience and race to reveal worlds within and behind the immediate, visible one. This is a marvelous debut.

– Arthur Sze, author of Compass Rose


In Lion Brothers, Leona Sevick navigates the often overlooked complexities of familiar domestic roles: wife, mother, daughter. There are striking moments of tenderness here, but they don’t go by unexamined. These poems quite gracefully praise and elegize the lessons a daughter learns while driving with her father. They attempt to prepare a son for a world marked by violence, to describe the childhood shame of a mother’s broken English that “carried whiffs of garlic and / fish sauce.” “We hoped she would be silent,” Sevick writes, never turning away from the difficult truth.

– Corey Van Landingham, author of Antidote


Leona Sevick’s debut collection, Lion Brothers, is a seductive book, one that takes the joys and terrors of dozens of “ordinary Wednesdays” and from them finds revelatory insights that answer the most fundamental questions about who we are. “Disloyal citizens are unburdened of their memories,” she writes, but these poems remember with a keen and discerning eye. They seethe and soar in equal measure, and announce themselves in a voice that manages to deftly navigate the tightrope between history and calamity. 

– Steve Kistulentz, author of Little Black Daydream

About the Author

Leona Sevick’s work appears in The JournalBarrow StreetPotomac ReviewNorth American ReviewThe Florida ReviewLittle Patuxent Review, and in the anthologies All We Can Hold: Poems of Motherhood (Sage Hill Press, 2016), Circe’s Lament: Anthology of Wild Women Poetry (Accents Publishing, 2016), and The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2017). She is the 2012 first place winner of the Split This Rock poetry contest, judged by Naomi Shihab Nye, and a finalist for the 2016 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. Her chapbook, Damaged Little Creatures, was published in 2015 by FutureCycle Press, which you can find at She is provost at Bridgewater College in Virginia.