In Cant Be Wrong, the take-no-prisoners stance of Lally’s early work is tempered with a deepening tenderness and awareness of human mortality. There is an unmistakable mastery of a colloquial, intimate tone that moves through level after level of experience without ever losing the reader. A superb craftsman who pushes the envelope of what can be said in poetry, Lally is also that rare poet who communicates with a lyrical but unabashed directness that respects the reader’s desire to understand.
1997 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Poetry Winner
“Lally’s new poems comprise a small but decisive shift of tone in which the wisdom of a survivor is seamlessly wedded to the original quicksilver sensibility. Here is the soul of a great American poet.” —Aram Saroyan
“Reading this book I can feel the New York streets under my feet, hear the voices and the traffic, smell the air, all, in romantic retrospect, beautiful. Of course, because Lally’s a romantic in the full sense of the word, I also (re) experience the heartache of life on those streets. This is a wonderful book, a beautiful book, a very human book. It’s a real joy to read.” —Hubert Selby, Jr.