In this intimate first collection, Bruce Snider explores the intricacies of memory, loss, and identity. A farmer finds the body of a dead child, a boy watches his mother get ready for a date, an overweight sister shares a cupcake. Sometimes funny, always big-hearted and inventive, Snider's book is an attempt to reconcile it all--past and present, fear and desire, self and sexuality--making the barest symbols into their own deeply personal language.


“How can poems be so fierce and so delicate all at once? Bruce Snider is a master of elegant movements, turning phrases and layering images to create a supple, velveteen texture of words. His penetrating gaze never wavers. Mystery stitches its luminous seam through the lines. These poems are comforting in their perfection. One plus one equals everything here.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Fuel

“During a time when first collections are apt to be a little too cautious and disappointingly arid, it’s a pleasure to encounter the verve and self-assurance of Bruce Snider’s debut. His voice is always engaging; his imagery is original, and his poems know how to make the difficult leap from hilarity to pathos. His is writing that matters.”

—David Wojahn, author of Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems

“Bruce Snider’s superb poems seem to have come into being without any need to impress or prove a point or compete. They are pure in that way, content and courageous enough to be what they are: observant, expressive, sometimes sad, sometimes slyly witty, always true to a trajectory that is purposeful and swift even as it takes surprising turns. Undistracted by what they have to say, these poems say it fully and convincingly, so that the poet appears on the page by virtue of never calling attention to himself. That wonderful, uncommon paradox, that art.”

—Kelly Cherry, author of The Retreats of Thought: Poems