Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky (Poetry) | Los Angeles, CA

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Ruth Madievsky is a poet and fiction writer originally from Moldova, now living in Los Angeles. Her debut poetry collection, Emergency Brake, was published by Tavern Books on Valentine’s Day, 2016 as their 2015 Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series selection. Her poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Tin House’s Broadside Thirty series, West Branch, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She was a 2015 Tin House Scholar in Poetry and reads chapbook submissions for Gold Line Press. She is also a doctoral student at The University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and a research assistant at an HIV clinic specializing in maternal care in Downtown Los Angeles.


Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016). Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series. Poetry.

Press & Reviews

“Ruth Madievsky’s first collection is an announcement like a bomb going off, like a super wave coming to swallow us up! For my part I am thrilled to be taken away by such energetic, funny, and heartbreaking work. This is a new voice made of sunlight, knives, emergencies, heat, honesty, bottles of vodka, and a tanker full of talent. Madievsky has created something we should not go without.”
—Matthew Dickman

“Go ahead, try all you want pulling on Ruth Madievsky’s Emergency Brake—but just remember it won’t do you any good. This will be the most exciting and inventive first book you have read in years, and this poet’s take-no-prisoners attitude makes for an ecstatic joyride. These deeply moving poems reflect the raw darkness paring at the edges of our lives, and they reveal how that dark can sometimes move to the very centers of our being. Sexy, irreverent, sorrowful, thrilling—the poems of Emergency Brake become a young woman’s survival manual for the Twenty-First Century: ignore it at your own peril.”
—David St. John

“The social importance of Emergency Brake doesn’t come at the cost of artful finesse; a cleverly engineered speaker who invites distrust through sly direction guides us through the collection’s gallery of sex and Los Angeles sprawl…”
Columbia Journal

“Two amazing things are happening in Emergency Brake, and they happen to be just what I need in a poetry collection: metaphors that leap and dazzle, guided from cover to cover by spoonfuls of narrative…Emergency Brake is filled with boxcar after boxcar of metaphors you’ll wish you wrote, but Madievsky got to them first. You’ll want to hate her if it wasn’t for that sugary child jumping up and down behind your ribs, yelling, “Do it again! Do it again!”
—Harpur Palate

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