In Life Outside the Set, Michael Diebert weaves together frayed threads in the tapestry of human experience. Rooted in memory and mind, these poems illustrate frustration with being caught between the Scylla of the hazy wished-for and the Charybdis of the ad-libbed actual, but they also insist on the beautiful and wondrous as, in Robert Frost’s words, a “momentary stay against confusion.” From a variety of viewpoints, with equal doses of puzzlement, wryness, and exhortation, this debut collection re-advances the possibility that beyond the ground-bound and temporary, there might be something better.
The Woman Who Drank Her Own Reflection is a new title in Guernica Editions’ Essential Poets series. With this collection Louise McKinney gathers together poems published in a number of North American journals, and which were shortlisted under a different title for the Texas Review’s annual poetry prize. Writes Lawrence Hetrick, author of Derelict Tributaries, “Louise McKinney’s generous poems are all the more interesting for being grounded in a variety of distant places. Yet their landscapes are finally within, spirit being awakened by the poet’s words. These poems offer rare gifts of new language and expansive humanity.”