To labor at what we love—whether that is tinkering away at the car in our garage or carrying our first child to life—is a process of concentrated intensity just as it is a painful, lengthy, and arduous journey. To labor, then, implies paradox: the flash-flickering moments of strenuous human effort and the dull understanding that relief is a long road ahead. Brent Newsom’s debut poetry collection Love’s Labors captures such a paradox. In Newsom’s poems, we encounter an intricate growing narrative of the poet’s becoming a father just as others around him lose their own loved ones. Life and death, grief and shame, flare up with equal intensity, just as a complicated consolation slowly cools the senses.