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Noah Blaustein

In this stunning first collection of poems, Noah Blaustein’s narrators face the complexities that shape a life: adolescence, fatherhood, our responsibility for the lives of others, the exhilaration of romantic love, and memory. These anxious, frequently witty poems flirt with physical danger, with grief and happiness, and with mortality as a means to transcend the mundane in our day-to-day lives. As the parent narrator says at the end of “Rave On”: “This / life of mine I now know / is no longer mine to take away.” While the narrator believes that there’s no person “that doesn’t benefit from some pain,” this evocative collection proves that life is both pain and comfort, and ends on a prayer of hope for the speaker’s children: “This is a prayer / for my children asleep in their bunk beds. . . . / May they never acquire / death’s thin cello wire, / what connects my cortex to my toes, what plays / memory’s midnight wrong song. . . . / There is beautiful music / out there. There is beautiful music.”


Noah Blaustein is editor of the anthology Motion: American Sports Poems. His poems have been published in a variety of journals including Barrow Street, The Harvard Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, Orion, and Pleiades.


“The speaker of these poems wanders through the current moment as well as the memories of the past, the r
uin and beauty of both, and ultimately arrives at knowing that while ‘this world loves comfort’ there’s no person who fails to ‘benefit from some pain.’ Intimate, cerebral, and honest, this collection invites us to consider the uncertainties life holds, and what fearlessness has to teach us about living.”


John Chávez, author of City of Slow Dissolve

6 x 9 in. 88 pages