Neil Azevedo has published poems in The Paris Review, The New Criterion, Prairie Schooner, and Image. His first collection, Ocean, introduces a shadowy world populated with dogs and snakes, suicide and children, sickness and satire, Satan and Christ, yet one doesn't feel soggy with introspection. Instead, wisdom emerges from these often personal and well-articulated lyrics; the reader is moved by the juxtaposition of savagery of subject and delicacy of touch. The verbal and often gothic brilliance of the language is stunning. It's not often that a young poet successfully embraces meter, finding a refined, velvet-toned style, and creates such a stellar debut.