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About the book:

Michael Ryans New and Selected Poems is the first collection to appear in fifteen years from this acclaimed and masterly poet. Comprising fifty-seven poems from three award-winning volumes and thirty-one brilliant new poems, it displays the wit and passion he has brought to universal themes throughout his career. In both dramatic lyrics and complex narratives, Ryan renders the world with startling clarity, freshness, and intimacy.

Ryans poems are filled with the stuff of everyday life: What-a-Burger, Space Invaders, “the hood ornament / on some chopped down hot rod of the apocalypse. He observes his subjects in carefully wrought detail and with a fierce compassion, describing “stupid posters of rock stars in the bedroom of a murdered teenager, or a homeless boy “straggle-haired, bloated, / eyes shining like ice. As Ryan writes of others, in a final “Reminder to himself: “their light —their light — / pulls so surely. Let it.

This long-awaited collection shows Ryan at the height of his powers. As William H. Pritchard said in The Nation, “Unlike too many poets who tumble into print at the first twitch of feeling, Ryan takes time to listen to himself, and such listening contributes immeasurably to the subtlety of his address to the reader . . . [He] reminds us on every page that poems can be about lives, and about them in ways most urgent and delicate.

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