Charged with apt and astonishing metaphors, reckless intelligence, unnerving passion, and the ‘waa waa / and the oooo waa’ of their own original music, these poems race towards you, “unstoppable,” and then, wonderfully, linger, persist like ‘held-fire,’ so you can walk about in them and marvel how Lexa Hillyer brings everything together in this remarkable debut collection. Truly, Acquainted with the Cold is a book of wonders.
— Theodore Deppe, author of Orpheus on the Red Line

Restless and exhilarating, 

Lexa Hillyer’s inaugural collection spins headlong into a rush of sound and image, revealing possibilities usually hidden to us under a thin layer of ice or snow. A silky year-long song, Acquainted with the Cold begins with a seduction and ends with a call: “Barred owl, I’m ready./ Convince me of eternity.” The winner of the 2011 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize and the 2012 IndieFab Book of the Year Award invites the reader to live life more fully, to delve into the wild possibilities open to us all.


The skyline has gone away,’ Lexa Hillyer writes. ‘These are its bones.’ The poems in Hillyer’s debut collection Acquainted with the Cold explore a gorgeous and vanishing world, a world made of ice and rain and breath in the dark. With luminous language and an authoritative voice, these poems reveal that Lexa Hillyer is a new young poet to watch.
— Nicole Cooley, author of Kinereth Gensler Award-winner Milk Dress
In Acquainted with the Cold we are introduced to an important new voice in poetry. Lexa Hillyer’s poetic gifts and ambitions are fierce. Full of vivid imagery and memorable music, these poems surprise, move, and sing. I feel I have been waiting a long time to read this wonderful collection.
— Laura Kasischke, author of NBCC Award-winner Space, in Chains
Acquainted with the Cold is a collection in motion. In their darting quickness and truly dashing alertness, these poems are not domesticated inventions, but lush wild ones. The greatest gift of this book is that it makes me feel more alive as I read, like a crisp clear winter day. In a word, invigorating.
— Jeanne Marie Beaumont, author of The Burning of the Three Fires
This haunting debut collection of lyric poems has a mind—and body—of winter, elusive as a ghost lover—or the self ghosted by its unfolding life. Hillyer mesmerizes with her introspection, intuition, daring, honesty, restraint, and fabulous imagery: ‘In the icy flux of darkness and hunger, sometimes it’s just beyond us to resist.’
— April Ossmann, author of Anxious Music