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[ reviews & testimonials ]

see what people have to say about my poetry, newsletters and more.

"Heartfelt, wild, and moving. Phoenix Tesni’s poetry rearranges intimacy and lineage into an ever-growing tapestry, with so much breath to offer."

MJ Gomez

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"Phoenix’s work has always stood out to me as tenderly mystical. Her piece in handpicked poetry, which sparked our introduction, held a unique sort of nostalgia that I see reflected in much of her writing.
 
Through interviewing her, I learned just how lovely of a person she is as well. She has a distinct care and wonder for the world around her that materializes in such a tangible way in her work. Every time I read a Phoenix Tesni piece, I know it's not just for me, but also food for my inner child. "

Izzy Astuto

Blog Writer, Hand Picked Poetry

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The most graceful poet I've ever come across—her work has always been like a little lamp in the dark. All by itself and yet enough to illuminate its surroundings. When I think of compassion, I think of her.

Divyanshi Dash

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“Phoenix Tesni is one of the most exciting new writers I’ve had the good fortune to read. Her work is curious, her subjects romantic, her images tangible and real, almost as though one could reach out and feel the warmth of “a campfire in [her] heart”.

 

You will find yourself drawn through the intricate web of her writing, line by careful line, as though sleepwalking through memories that feel all at once present and alert. To read Tesni’s work is to engage in what words are, how they feel on the tongue and to the senses. It has been my great pleasure to read many and publish a few of Phoenix’s poems.

 

Like many others, I’m sure, I’ll return time and again to her work and find myself in awe of the sensuous power in this poet’s language.”

Jay Rafferty

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Phoenix is a writer of undeniable talent and emotional depth that would be remarkable in anyone but is especially so in someone so young. Her work is often brief and intensely lyrical, turning mundane beauties and losses into something greater and more moving than their parts. In her poetry, she often goes beyond individual differences to touch upon the universal. Her prose, especially her blog posts, retain the same fluidity and rhythm of her poetry while taking on a personal, accessible tone that makes you connect with her immediately. When she writes about her own life and revelations, you feel as if they are your own.

Divyasri Krishnan

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on "an unrequited love letter to the city that murdered me"

[finalist for Best Small Fictions '23]

 "...I fell in love with how the poem felt like it was reinventing an older style and I loved the tension between each word and line. It's nostalgic and familiar, but not at the same time — and that's what I love about poetry. How it can take something we all know and reintroduce it to us in a new way.

Phoenix is also masterful with sound and rhyme — each word and syllable feels though it has been chosen for a reason. That's another thing I love about poetry, how it can be so playful and clever with the language we all use.

 

Another great poem that shows Phoenix's cleverness and mastery of poetry (in sound, in playful wordplay, in tension, in word) is "my dentist told me he wanted to live inside one of my teeth" published with Surging Tide, which I think is a great next step from when I first read Phoenix's work." 

Hana Kim

General Editor, Renaissance Review

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When reading Tesni’s poetry, you can’t help but be aware of her particularly acute perceptiveness.

 

Her poetry is visceral, perfectly paced, and never pulls its punches. She’s a poet with something real to say, something vital and alive, something crackling, and that’s a rare and delightful gift from someone at the beginning of what will undoubtably be a long career.

L.M. Cole and Jared Povanda

Co-founders and Co-EICs, Bulb Culture Collective

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"Phee's writing is beautiful, elegant, crisp, intelligent, and most importantly, it's audacious. Her poems, articles and even rants are a rollercoaster ride of intense emotions—Joy, grief, heartbreak, yearning and hope all packed into a beautiful, elegantly packed envelope of words."

Vaibhav

Reader, Phee Speaks

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on "an unrequited love letter to the city that murdered me"

[finalist for Best Small Fictions '23]

In this lyrical, startling poem, the unnamed city thrums with a weary tenderness despite the undercurrent of violence threatening to flood in.

Saturated in language, the poem teeters on the edge between blissful complacency and a vicious reality, the inherent contradictions of aging summarized by the mantra "i do not wish to know" / "i do not know."

 

It is at once elegant, vulnerable, and devastating.

Makenzie Duan

General Editor, Renaissance Review

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Phoenix Tensi writes with unflinching honesty and rare, compelling intelligence and insight.

 

Tensi crafts worlds vivid enough to slip into, writing deliberate and urgent, inspiring hope, empathy, and love in every cold corner of the universe.

Stuti Desai

Editor-in-Chief & Founder, Healthline Zine

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"Phoenix Tesni writes with such raw authenticity that you can't help but get swept up in the emotions she shares so vulnerably from her life experiences. Every post of hers feels you're sharing a quiet, comforting moment with a friend, catching up over a cup of lemongrass tea. Her heartfelt and relatable take on things is what keeps you coming back for another cup every now and then.

 

10/10 would recommend subscribing to her newsletter if you want your heart broken and stitched back all again in the span of a single email."

Harsimar Singh

Reader, Phee Speaks

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"I met Phee for the first time back in a slam poetry event in 2017, and since I've known her — her writing has been grounded in a specific kind of curiosity and empathy I've come to associate with her. Her poetry, newsletter essays, and curation of art and media symbolize the joy of celebrating the mundane things in life, the little precious moments that keep us going, no matter how hard it gets.

 

Through teaching students from all walks of life, Phee has contributed to fostering a love for reading and writing among many. I'm very grateful that she continues to share her writing with us, and allow us a glimpse into her brilliant mind.."

Paridhi Puri

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