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Series Selected = akron series in poetry

Empty Clip

The poems of Empty Clip bore into the cultures of violence in the United States while candidly cross-firing upon the poets’ complicity and testifying on these cultures’ effects upon female body image and mental health. From a meditation about a bullet hole-animated PowerPoint presentation on campus shooters to the startled invective against an unprovoked dick pic, lyrics br… >>Read more


In his third collection, Matthew Guenette continues to explore work and class, this time from the perspective of a narrator who is perpetually—and outrageously—on the run. These voice-driven and formally inventive poems yearn and shout, tremble in a delirium of parenting and partnering, and thrash with humor and a blue collar sensibility. 

… >>Read more

Pictures at an Exhibition

Wrestling with the questions of travel, memory, and perception, Pictures at an Exhibition: A Petersburg Album is, at its core, an unrequited love song to St. Petersburg. The fever dream of Peter the Great, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Akhmatova, St. Petersburg is the occasion for a broader meditation on all we come to love and lose. Pictures began as a journal notebook in … >>Read more

Weather Inventions

“First marvel; then record.” This tempered revision of Wordsworth’s famous definition of poetry as a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion recollected in tranquility serves as a useful guide to Emily Rosko’s Weather Inventions. The poems in Rosko’s third collection capture an enduring sense of wonder in the face of nature alongside the scientific impuls… >>Read more


“My choice for the award is Doe—that book is so good, so well executed with such difficult subject matter. I admire its active courage, its commitment to witnessing what so many reject. It stayed with me through reading all the others—fantastic books, the lot of them. But Doe is a game changer, a silence eliminator.”
—Allison Joseph, … >>Read more

Brazen Creature

Brazen Creature spans a young woman’s awakening. The poems’ concerns are twofold: violence against women and girls that has become rooted in the land, and verdant female desire and self-assertion in the face of entrenched oppression. In the poems’ Midwestern towns and farmlands, patriarchy is a ghost that haunts the cottonwoods, soybean fields, and creek beds. Th… >>Read more


Groundspeed moves and doesn’t stop moving. From pastorals on American highways to self-reckonings after a cancer diagnosis to examinations on grief and transience after the death of a brother, this collection of poems asks readers not only to size up threats but anxieties. Phillips witnesses a small plane crash and examines roadside attractions. She reckons with sexuality after a… >>Read more

Book of Endings

2017 National Book Award Finalist, Poetry

The poems in The Book of Endings try to make sense of, or at least come to some kind of reckoning with absence—the death of the autho… >>Read more

Further Problems with Pleasure

“If Coleridge, Plath, Ovid, and Celan started a love commune where they built a manifesto Molotov cocktail out of the pastoral, eros, blank verse, and kitsch: it would be this book. A true original, thrilling in her brash complex feminism and virtuosic in sound and line, Simonds writes of the lives and desires trod upon by late capitalism and poetry.”

&m… >>Read more

Waters of Forgetting

In The Waters of Forgetting, Seiler brings together poems that spring from the tensions between memory and forgetting, the past and the present, the daily and the eternal. Whether he is writing about his family or popular music or the violent horrors of our age, Seiler's poems are always concerned with time, the difficulties of living in it and living with it. Moving through these variou… >>Read more

Winter Morning with Crow

Winner of the 1996 Akron Poetry Prize

What a bright, engaging, lively intelligence is at play here! In these days of noisy promotion, the quietly self-assured poems of Winter Morning with Crow would seem familiar only if they were louder and more demonstrative, if they had some sort of platform to run on, if they cultivated the grotesque or t… >>Read more

Spoken among the Trees

“I am a native but not exactly at home,” says the speaker near the end of “The Song of the Weed Witch,” a declaration that echoes through Jeff Gundy's Spoken among the Trees. Gundy is restless in body and spirit—and in poetic form—a compulsive explorer through the flatlands of Ohio and Indiana. On one level, he seeks out “the green, astonishing w… >>Read more

Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr

In Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr, Marlys West takes a coolly amused look at what we create of ourselves: our habits of home and mind, the prosthetics and courtesies, the small timid gestures and screaming leaps that make up our lives and deaths. Influenced by such diverse things as summer vacations, the plight of Satan and the saints, and a love of American speech, these poems suggest… >>Read more

Never Be the Horse

Winner of the 1998 Akron Poetry Prize

Never Be the Horse depicts the world of a postmodern Dark Dorothy whose attempts to return home are foiled when she falls into the Garden of Eden, into the underworld with Walt Whitman, into mysterious versions of her own childhood. The poems evoke this nighttime within the self haunted by mythic and shadow-paradises—of home, hom… >>Read more

Nothing Fatal

What happens when love is replaced by romance? In Nothing Fatal, Sarah Perrier explores this and other questions about our contemporary understanding of dating, relationships, sex, and marriage. In the opening lines of "Too Darn Hot," a poem fueled by the same weary ardor as Cole Porter's song, the speaker asks, "Why sort the doubletalk from the innuendo? / They're both lyrical." Rather … >>Read more

Other Latitudes

Winner of the 2007 Akron Poetry Prize

Attempting to repair the fissures of everyday life, Brian Brodeur negotiates the psychological distances between desire and disgust, humor and catastrophe, banality and dream. The poems of Other Latitudes begin in the realm of personal experience, and expand into larger territories of cultural narcissism and political blindness. These p… >>Read more

Good Kiss

Winner of the 2001 Akron Poetry Prize

The Good Kiss is a collection of poems dealing loosely with the subjects of divorce, sexuality, and American culture from the 1950's to today.The poems vary in tone from the fairly serious to the reflective and meditative, to the wryly comic. Perhaps it is fair to say that this range of tones exists within many of the individual poems, … >>Read more

Simmer Dim

Simmer Dim is a book of roots and epiphanies, of travels that become an inward journey as the poet searches for origins familial and literary, finally discovering what Eliot found in his Four Quartets: "And the end of all our exploration / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."

Though the poems take us to many landscapes (in France, Greece, It… >>Read more

American Busboy

When Matthew Guenette says your mother is a busboy, it sounds like an insult. When he says Jesus is a busboy, it sounds like a prayer. But aren’t we all busboys? Aren’t we all essential to the hum of daily life? Aren’t we all unsung? Don’t we all put cornstarch in our polyester pants to keep from getting a butt rash? The next time you’re chowing down at The … >>Read more

Ascending Order

Ascending Order is the work of a poet who has thought hard about the circumstances of his past and present, and found an attitude, part concerned and part amused, that serves him well in both his life and his art. The poems in William Greenway's new book range widely, from memories of childhood and family through meditations on works of art, from humorous topics such as the cars in Hell'… >>Read more

Black Leaf

Out of our endgame of giddy chaos, Black Leaf sustains and deepens the themes and images first confronted in Seiler's 1994 book, The Waters of Forgetting. Whether attentive to the poet in Paris, or to Isaac Bashevis Singer in Hoboken, or to Sam Cooke on the radio, these poems carry the reader through the postwar premillenial world, sifting through layers of history, popular culture, lite… >>Read more

Blues for Bill

Blues for Bill celebrates the life and work of poet William Matthews through his own language, that of poetry. While poems of William Matthews are well known and remembered, this collection of poems ensures that the world will remember Bill himself: his graciousness, intelligence, knowledge, style, good humor, capacity for friendship, immense talent, and wit. In this anthology, the edito… >>Read more

Book of Accident

In her latest collection of poems, The Book of Accident, Beckian Fritz Goldberg invites the reader into a shadowy atmosphere where her language prowls among strange images; hummingbirds become a "fistful of violet amphetamines" and desire gnaws away like a "live rat sewed up inside us." Reading The Book of Accident is like entering a graphic novel with missing panels, a noir world… >>Read more

Bride Minaret

Heather Derr-Smith’s second collection journeys to the rough core of desire, creating and destroying binaries along the way. Familiar artifacts of domesticity become as volatile as land mines, and the streets of Damascus, Calcutta, and other faraway locales obliterate the American landscape. Yet Derr-Smith’s poetry transcends time and place, illuminating the ties that bind man to wo… >>Read more

Cage of Water

The poems in Dennis Hinrichsen's Cage of Water explore collisions of spirit and matter, that thorn-and-thistle bath as he states in the book's final poem, where the limitations and entanglements of the flesh give over to a provisional and sometimes fractured radiance and everlasting. This radiance takes many forms: an uncle with Down Syndrome calling the make… >>Read more

Circle Routes

Winner of the 2000 Akron Poetry Prize

In Circle Routes, a navigational term, John Minczeski transports the reader to a series of places that often interconnect, whether they are as close as the poet's back yard or as distant, in history and geography, as a Japanese concentration camp and the pungent streets of Rome. What links the poems, however diverse in subject and situa… >>Read more

Comma after Love

From more than nine hundred poems left behind at the poet's death, Donald Justice has chosen the seventy-four representative works that comprise The Comma After Love. By turns rueful and amused, intimate and restrained, these poems speak movingly about the difficulties of love and faith, the pleasure of friendship and poetry, the loneliness and disappointments of the solitary life. In hi… >>Read more

Fire Wheel

Winner of the 2003 Akron Poetry Prize

Sharmila Voorakkara’s family poems are tough-minded, sometimes angry, often elegiac, detailing the sad fate of her father who sells vacuum cleaners door to door, or serves as a night watchman, or takes up the holy life as an ascetic with begging bowl. An uncle takes a knife to his wife’s face: “What mirror didn’t throw … >>Read more

Ohio Blue Tips

Winner of the 1997 Akron Poetry Prize

Jeanne E. Clark heeds Dickinson's advice to tell all the truth and tell it slant. Rather than settling for the preening gush or anecdotal flatness of much contemporary poetry, her work travels down roads named Bluelick and Slabtown to retrieve a rich sense of place and a sinewy American language. Like the best blues songs, these poems create a… >>Read more

Zones of Paradise

Lynn Powell's earlier work has deservedly brought her prestigious prizes and a loyal following. Now, in The Zones of Paradise, Powell extends her range and raises her language to a new intensity. These poems travel from Australia to New Mexico, from the Garden of Eden to her own back yard in Ohio, and everywhere they tremble with the restless exploration of desire, thwarted or fulfilled:… >>Read more

Private Hunger

Private Hunger, Melody Lacina's first collection of poetry, begins as a book of snapshots from a family album, becomes a carousel of colorslides from travels in Europe, and concludes as a gallery of poems celebrating the vitality of the body and its enormous appetite for life. Lacina is also a poet who can say, in the credo that opens the book,"I believe in the underside ... the rhythm a… >>Read more

Everywhere at Once

William Greenway’s Everywhere at Once travels between muggy recollections of a Southern Baptist childhood, meditations on the otherworldly beauty of Wales, and commentary on life, death, and the revelry in between. In lines taut with bluesy musical precision, Greenway clearly demarcates the before and after, pivoting on his wife’s stroke and arduous recovery. “This is o… >>Read more

Delicate Bait

Winner of the 2002 Akron Poetry Prize

In Delicate Bait, Roger Mitchell explores the small histories of the self in the larger world, intent on giving everything its just place and name. The poems roam over field and seashore and city, “inventing a world so similar to the world itself / it becomes the world.” Whether musing on the past o… >>Read more


In Half/Mask, Roger Mitchell goes in search of the magic that remains when the world is stripped down to “an inhospitable beauty.” Many of these starkly lyrical poems explore the human and natural communities found on tundra and borrow freely from the great narrative and sculptural traditions of the Inuit and other rugged people who have learned to live intensely under challe… >>Read more

Frozen Falls

Frozen Falls, Barry Seiler's fourth full-length collection of poems, extends the range of his themes and poetic strategies. Readers of his earlier work will recognize Seiler's concern with family loss, popular music and film, Jewish experience, and the intensities and disappointments inherent in the act of writing. But they will also find a series of brief, inventive poems on the inner l… >>Read more

Her Slender Dress

Winner of the 1995 Akron Poetry Prize
Winner of the
1997 Norma Farber First Book Award, Poetry Society of America

Her Slender Dress, the first volume of poetry to win the Akron Poetry Prize, follows Virginia Woolf's advice to women writers: to move out of the sitting room and into reality. The staccato, often fragmented, syntax of these poems is an attemp… >>Read more

Pale Bird, Spouting Fire

Susan Yuzna's new collection of poetry builds on the success of her 1995 Akron Poetry Prize winner, Her Slender Dress, which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. The new poems speak in a voice recognizably Yuzna's, though now deepened and darkened with a quickening twist of mordant humor.

Feisty or contemplative, in Eden or on the mean streets, these … >>Read more


In "Foreword," the opening poem of Clare Rossini's new book, the poet exclaims: "Don't tell me the tongue's / Not a magical place." And who would argue the point after reading these poems in which the body and spirit of language bring such joy, from a toddler's garbled imitations to the ripe lines of Shakespeare? Whether in the Midwest or New England, in elegies or celebrations, Rossini takes c… >>Read more

How We Spent Our Time

Winner of the 2004 Akron Poetry Prize

Nearly every poem in How We Spent Our Time flies at its mast a title in the form of a gerund or ground phrase, that humble verbal noun. The book's table of contents, therefore, reads like an equally humble enumeration of the ways—some ordinary, some less soa human lifetime… >>Read more

Internal Strategies

In a daring first book that challenges contemporary poetic practice and pieties, Anita Feng speaks in a voice completely different from her own, submerging her gender, race, and nationality in these powerful and sensitive poems. In Internal Strategies, she tells the story of her husband, Xiao Ge Feng, who was born at the outset of communist rule in China and who grew up on succeeding wav… >>Read more

Hurricane Party

Hurricane Party is a collection of larger-than-life poems that capture the cadence of New Orleans speech, and the indomitable spirit of its speakers and its culture. It’s refreshing to hear an authentic Louisiana voice, gutsy and genuine, putting it out there in the midst of the mess of “Yankeefied” and “celestial” poems Pelegrin rails against in “Katr… >>Read more

Map of the Folded World

Map of the Folded World, John Gallaher's third full-length collection, examines the eros and desperation of suburban America with the precision of a cartographer's eye. But as its title suggests, it does so according to the polar opposite of convention. More concerned with subtext than narrative, often childlike in tone and propelled by the logic of innocence, Gallaher's poems don't shy … >>Read more

Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields

Winner of the 2005 Akron Poetry Prize

In her first book, Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields, Ashley Capps sounds like the voice of a fresh generation of poets, where the familiar turns suddenly elliptical, straight talk goes engagingly crooked, and the lyric negotiates with the matter-of-fact. Desperate for something solid to believe in, Capps still mistrusts authority, feeling … >>Read more

Big Muddy River of Stars

Winner of the 2006 Akron Poetry Prize

In Big Muddy River of Stars, her second full-length collection of poems, Alison Pelegrin continues her celebration of the quirks and characters of south Louisiana, tempered now by the devastations of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. These sassy poems come on like a carnival parade, with boisterous shout-outs to sleepy rivers and Big… >>Read more

I Have My Own Song for It

I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio gathers together 117 poems by 85 poets for a fresh perspective on the Buckeye State. Not since 1911 has there been a comprehensive collection of poems written about Ohio. And this anthology is especially relevant as Ohio celebrates its 200th year as a state. It could be called Ohio's bicentennial gift to itself.

These poems, writing … >>Read more

How the Dead Bury the Dead

With reverence and exasperation and good humor, the poems in William Greenway's book, How the Dead Bury the Dead, evoke the pain of loss and celebrate the ways we transform our losses into strength. Dislocated from his native Georgia to the rust belt of the Midwest, haunted by the ghost of his father, by memories of his mother, and by dreams of his own mortality, Greenway turns his warm … >>Read more

Letter to Serafin

A Letter to Serafin is a multi-paneled study of juxtapositions and duplicities, where history becomes a living entity, not just a shadowy artifact. Minczeski colors his lines with dark hues of wry comedy and sharp tones of pathos, transcending geography and time by providing testimony on behalf of those who no longer can. This is a vital book for anyone who has ever been transported by a… >>Read more

Hawk Parable

Hawk Parable begins with a family mystery and engages with the limits of historical knowledge—particularly of the atomic bombs the US dropped at the end of the Second World War and the repercussions of atomic tests the US conducted throughout the twentieth century. These poems explore a space between environmental crisis and a crisis of conscience. As a lyric collection… >>Read more


Unhistorical draws on historical narrative, confessional poetry, and detective fiction to tell the story of a contemporary romantic relationship that begins in Scotland and falls apart in America, as the narrator finds herself in the role of spectator to her partner’s genius. Many of these poems draw from the elegiac tradition, following a speaker who is, at turns, tour… >>Read more

Quite Apart

Quite Apart asks “what about after survival?” in a chronicle of attempts to have a heart in a rough world. Haunted by work and its wasted hours, the book offers a glimpse of self-rendered as subtext beneath the sheen of productivity. Inventive formal poems provide a kind of alibi, mirroring the inflexibility of the environment—driving through mountains, bleeding … >>Read more

Twice Told

The poems in Twice Told roam through Midwest and western landscapes haunted by shards of nineteenth-century gothic novels, war stories, warnings, and the ghosts of known and imagined lovers, mothers, soldiers, trainmates, and mistresses. These are poems interested in narrative framing, repetition, rumor, humor, and hearsay; poems that loop back in on themselves as they compulsively rep… >>Read more