My Book = Some Beheadings

Art, Books, Poetry November 6, 2017

I have a book in the world and it is so beautiful, thanks to the wonderful Nightboat. Also, it has received some very generous attention in the form of blurbs, reviews, and a feature/interview; they are listed below.

A small note on the blurbs, especially as blurbs can sometimes seem weird and secretive, even though they’re public. The one by the incredible, ever so important to me, Etel Adnan reads differently because it’s from a postcard she sent me (!) last year in response to my chapbook Route: Marienbad, which I’d sent to her in Paris. When putting SB together, I asked Etel Adnan if we could use a quote from her postcard, since Route: Marienbad is one of the long “Route” poems in the book. And she said yes! This is the front of her postcard (it’s a Klee, duh):

Mary Jo Bang is one of my very first poetry teachers, from MFA school, whose advice I find myself repeating to my students now. She and Carl Phillips (my other first poetry teacher) have been incredibly generous to me, always. And I get to read with her in Denver very, very soon (!!!!).

Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy I read for the first time in an anthology, long ago, when I was a poetry infant, and had no concept of poetry other than it has metaphors and images. I remember being drawn to how different his aesthetic was from all the other poetry I had read—maybe he even introduced me to the idea that poets had aesthetics, which developed over time and in response to time. Then earlier this year I met him at the University of Chicago, and he has been very kind since, and with the blurb especially.


More thank yous that double as self-promotion:

Sarah Blake, for this interview/feature at The Chicago Review of Books, in which she asks Jennifer Chang, kathryn l. pringle, Vanessa Angélica Villareal, and me how we picked our book titles.

Ben Purkert, for this review article on debut collections—I get compared to Rae Armantrout, which is cool and unexpected.

Publishers’ Weekly, for this starred review.

Andrew Wessels, for SB’s very first, and very enthusiastic, review.


I plan to make audio recordings and video poems of some the poems. Here’s one of “Route: Thicket.”

Kazim Ali, Lindsey Boldt, and Stephen Motika made this book happen. Margaret Tedesco actually made the book in terms of designing and typesetting it. She is amazing and she has the same first name as my mother. She also suggested the incredible art on the cover, which is by Thomas Kovachevich.


Oh yeah, and my book looks like this, and can be purchased through SPD, UPNE, various online shopping sites, and soon, I hope, your local bookstores:

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