"Here Be Monsters is a desperate and magical exploration of the world as it is and as it lives in the imagination. Mythology meets evolution. History mingles, comfortably, with legend. The poems are lyrical and often classical, yet grounded and fresh. . . . Few writers can traverse such extensive territory as beautifully and seamlessly as he does in this debut collection."
“Nature is a serious character in Here Be Monsters, and these highly textured poems show us that disparate elements live side by side. Colin Cheney’s surprising, graceful leaps are never misleading or arbitrary. From poem to poem, line by line, classical and modern conceits converge throughout Here Be Monsters; the extraordinary touches the ordinary, and something changes in us.”
—Yusef Komunyakaa, author of Warhorses: Poems
"As with the work of old geographers, the poems in Here Be Monsters abound in strange knowledge, which Cheney folds with assured craft into his lyrical/narrative mix, his language a beautifully balanced concoction—now simple and direct, now oblique and complex—of careful science, remote lore, and immediate feeling, all conjuring an atmosphere of skeptical wonder that the poet shares with us."
—Eamon Grennan, author of Matter of Fact: Poems
"Cheney writes with a searching urgency that is frustratingly rare in contemporary poetry. His keen awareness of how personal history and public history inextricably commingle aligns him to some of the most demanding and ambitious masters of the past half-century, most noticeably Oppen and Lowell. But Cheney is very much his own man, both for the range of his concerns and for a sense of music that is both memorable and refreshingly quirky."
—David Wojahn, author of Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004