“A star student and sweet friend, Rani’s death hurts in a way only she could describe with beauty and grace: ‘I love them pretty/with their ugliness./I love them all violet/and blue.’
Her love for the world courses through this powerful collection like a clean, clear river, bathing and purifying the poison and the pain she delineates with a razor, her uncanny mind.
New to these poems, I wish her back to praise her, and instead, say goodbye again, knowing she has left behind a stunning legacy, one that will be returned to, again and again, by anyone who knows, to quote Theodore Roethke, ‘the purity of pure despair.’
And to anyone who knows that life is wreching and sublime, all at once: All night, she turned violet and blue, betrayed by the Earth’s roll into darkness, leaving behind fields of flowers, bigger than oceans, and kindness, and love.”
—Lynn Crosbie, writer, professor and author of The Corpses of the Future
"“I loved the feel of Rivera’s words. Her poems are the kind that occasionally alluded me as to what exactly they were ‘about,’ but they were also often the kind of poems where I didn’t care whether I understood what was happening because I was so enamored with the language […] You should get this poetry collection, and get it now"
—Casey the Lesbrarian
"“Reading Rani Rivera’s posthumous collection All Violet, I am immediately taken in by and appreciate the visceral, raw, and unpolished feel of the poems. This is ‘[n]ot the language of worn-out/ brigands and the bottlenecked/ highways of the disengaged’ (‘Waiting Room/Personality Crisis,’ 77). The voice is as tough as it is sweet, and poems burst with real world insights, ‘like piñatas knowing they’re going to get hit,/ breaking into candy and pavement’ (‘Ghost Notes,’ 73). As a reader of this collection, I often feel like the piñata.”
—Nick, The Maynard