top of page


"Friman dissects flora and fauna: the tropic landscape of Hawai’i and the savannas of Tanzania and Kenya, all roiling with lava, lions, vultures, the picked-over skeletons of zebras, as well as the familial skyline of working-class uncles,... Aunt Sadie, and Daddy in his Depends. Beauty resides here not in prettiness but in a scalpel precision that breaks the heart."  

– Vince Gotera, rev. of Zoo in North American Review



"Here’s a poet with lively eyes, ears, and imagination. Her poems engrave themselves in memory by their accurate metaphors and sharp details. She can be wild without losing control, tender without ever waxing sentimental.... [H]er collection is strong and engaging and full of surprises all the way through. It’s a Zoo worth returning to for a month of Sundays."


– X. J. Kennedy, awarding Ezra Pound Poetry Prize to Friman for Zoo



"The book is about the harnessing of wildness—especially in humans....
Friman’s deft use of metaphor and her ability to choose revelatory detail are equally compelling....
A meditation on the frailty of permanence and the permanence of frailty, Friman’s passionate and passionately honest collection demonstrates the tremendous power of this seasoned poet."


– Andrea Hollander Budy, rev. of Zoo in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette



"This zoo is the entire planet Earth, tracing its mathematically measured dance through the spheres, carrying a crazy-quilt cargo of creatures and visions, casting shadows and darkness before it…. Its fearsome wonders perform as their DNA and destinies command, usually indifferent to the effects on their fellow passengers, sometimes finding pleasure in cruelty....It is a beautiful book, this Zoo, a collection of poems of maturity, filled with wisdom and delight and fearsome wonders."

–Charlotte Sargeant, rev. of Zoo in Indianapolis Star



"For Friman, everything is fair game; and everything is fully dimensional. While there are self-referential moments, they are not confessional; we want to know what she's thinking, following her eye along the trail of a safari, the movement of a constellation, the slide of breasts on an aging chest. As a result, we find art that is fully dimensional. Instead of being self-satisfying, these poems have an emotional depth balanced by the sharp edges of language, slick and laserlike. And often on these journeys we find ourselves."

–Julie Pratt McQuiston, rev. of Zoo in NUVO Newsweekly (Indianapolis)

bottom of page