A photo of Philip Gross

Philip Gross’s The Thirteenth Angel

Congratulations to Philip Gross for his upcoming poetry collection The Thirteenth Angel, published by Bloodaxe Books. Coming November 17, 2022, Gross’s collection examines patterns in the world around us and also within ourselves. It teeters between the before and after of the pandemic years, focusing in the opening sequences on almost-aerial views of London streets and Europe’s motorways. It ultimately reveals that “if there are angels, they are nothing otherworldly, but formed by angles of incidence between real immediate things.”

Moving from island to island, continent to continent, Between the Islands is concerned with memories, with resonances throughout time, but also with emergent dangers; ecological fears and the rising islands of refuse accumulating in our oceans.

Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Spring 2020 [on Between the islands]

Philip Gross has written over twenty books of poetry and won a number of awards, including the TS Eliot Prize for his book The Water Table. To learn more about Gross, visit his website.

Great poetry is like walking on water. In this paradoxical, humane collection, Philip Gross achieves that miracle.

Polly clark, The Guardian [on the water table]

To preorder The Thirteenth Angel, go here.

Philip Gross’s poem “Survivor” appeared in Issue 6 of Superstition Review.

A photograph of Eric Tran.

Eric Tran’s Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke


Congratulations to Eric Tran for his new poetry collection Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke, published by Diode Editions. Winner of the 2021 Diode Editions Full-Length Book Prize, this collection “grieves a lover lost to addiction and also swims in the intoxication of desire.” Tran explores themes of grief, lust, and queerness using a variety of poetic forms. Although not limited to one type of poem or one specific subject, Tran’s poetry remains united to create a cohesive piece. Poems selected for the collection are visceral and candid as Tran dives into his own emotions, writing “I’m lousy and bloated / with love.” His poetry is perfect for those searching for a deep discussion of intimacy.

Wounds, here, are not ornamental. Tenderness, here, is as restless and resilient as pain. The poems refuse transformation, superficial resolutions. Instead, the language—unsparing, striking—attends to addiction and death with grace, awe. The emotional complexity is mirrored structurally: the lines waterfall and halt, a sonnet crown jolts awake the mind, sentences simmer with lyrical momentum. Eric Tran’s second book is heart-rich and deftly written—the poems will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

Eduardo c. corral, author of guillotine

Eric Tran is a queer Vietnamese writer and physician. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke is his second book of poetry, and his work has appeared in RHINO, 32 Poems, the Missouri Review, and elsewhere. To learn more about Eric Tran, go to his website.

I resent no one / the instinct to run’ writes Eric Tran in his brave and beautiful Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke. But this is a poet who never runs. In fact, he pushes deep into the raw center of desire, admitting ‘I’ve wanted your picked-at / scab, your broken voice through a / morning-night call.’ This is a book of lust and brokenness, of ‘suffering as hot / and clean as a pistol’s mouth.’

Aaron Smith, author of The book of daniel

To purchase Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke, go here.

Eric Tran’s poem “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)” appeared in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.

A photo of the poet David Baker.

David Baker’s Whale Fall


David Baker’s new book Whale Fall, published by W. W. Norton & Company, is a poetry collection that operates on both a macro and micro level. As Baker’s poetry delves into global ecosystems, it also delves into his personal life. His masterful ability to blend these themes is apparent even early on in the book. His poem “Mullein,” the second in the collection, relates the scientific names of plants to the intimate nicknames Baker’s father gave to friends and family.

Whale Fall is filled with scientific terminology. In fact, the title itself is the name of a particular phenomenon. As Baker explains in his interview with Renee Shea in World Literature Today, a whale fall is an “oceanographic term that describes three stages of [a whale’s] death and decay.” It can take years for the whale carcass to settle on the ocean floor, and its body can provide nutrients to other organisms for decades.

Baker’s poetry is known for its sense of place and environmental message, and Whale Fall follows this trend. For those looking for beautiful nature imagery grounded in environmentalism and threaded with a personal narrative, Whale Fall is the perfect poetry collection.

A virtuoso of eco-poetry and acoustics, Baker meditates on the nonpareil majesty of the planet with rigorous consideration and reverence… Baker’s careful, captivating writing sinks under the skin, summoning a long-forgotten need for stillness, wonder, and attention to the sacrosanctity of the world.

publishers weekly

David Baker has written nineteen books, thirteen of them poetry collections. His work has been published in American Poetry Review, Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, and elsewhere. To learn more about Baker, visit his website.

From the shadow of the garfish to the memory of seabed in Ohio sandstone, nothing appears to be too slight or too immense for David Baker’s powers of lyric transformation. In book after eloquent book, his artistry has become more purely his own: pared down to essentials while refining its scope of generous inclusion. Baker’s method, like his subject, is the fine pulse of human encounter: here in its most distillate manifestation.

Linda Gregerson, author of prodigal: new and selected poems and magnetic north

You can purchase Whale Fall through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Baker’s poems “Never-Ending Birds” and “The Truth About Small Towns” appeared in Issue 3 of Superstition Review. To read them, go here.

Before I Had the Word cover

New Poetry Collection by Brooke Sahni Coming Soon!

Before I Had the Word cover
Before I Had the Word by Brooke Sahni (Texas A&M University Press, forthcoming 2021)

We are excited to share that past contributor Brooke Sahni has a book coming out this November! Before I Had the Word is a poetry collection that explores the confluences of religion and culture in the world. In the poems, Brooke draws on her backgrounds in Sikhism and Judaism to challenge our notions of the self and the divine. Nature, sexuality, and the body, plus the secular and mundane worlds, are thoughtfully questioned.

Before I Had the Word invites us to consider what is essential and what is sacred: language, the body, pleasure, faith. It invites us to consider who we are, how we inhabit ourselves, how words – “words that give and words that take away” – shape our experience. There are poems in this book that are etched in me now. Poems I’ll return to again and again. Poems I’ll teach. Poems I’ll share with my own daughter. This book is a gift.

Maggie Smith, Author of Keep Moving

Before I Had the Word is the 2020 winner of the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize and is available for pre-order from Texas A&M University Press. Brooke contributed to our Issue 24 and is also the author of the poetry collection Divining. To learn more about Brooke, visit her website or Instagram. Congratulations, Brooke!

Anna B Sutton author photo (Credit Jasper & Fern)

“Savage Flower” Doesn’t Shy Away From Heavy Themes


Summer 2021 was a fruitful season for our past contributors! We’re back to announce another contributor’s new book: Anna B. Sutton’s poetry collection Savage Flower. Anna’s debut book includes “Postpartum,” which was featured in Issue 13. Savage Flower, winner of the 2019 St. Lawrence Book Award, centers on women in the American South. Reproductive rights, gender, religion, oppression, and family are just some of the timely and weighty topics brought up.

Make no mistake: the poems in Savage Flower will break you open with their beauty, with their unflinching ability to turn and keep the gaze on the moments of life so painful we try not to look at them: death and abandonment, injury and loss. Through Sutton’s work, we see the world as a continual process of loss and gain, of departure and return, in which “like prayer, waves fall back against the earth.” But these poems break you in a way that heals you, that continuously reminds you that despite its deaths and losses, this world still “[a] thing of beauty that / blossoms even as it withers.”

Emma Bolden, Author of House Is an Enigma

Savage Flower is available for purchase from Black Lawrence Press and Anna kindly mentions SR in the acknowledgements. Learn lots more about Anna and her work on her website and Twitter. Congratulations, Anna!

The Thicket cover

Kasey Jueds Leaves No Stones Unturned


We are excited to share that past contributor Kasey Jueds is releasing a poetry collection, The Thicket, this November. Jueds’ poem “The Tool Shed” was featured in Issue 25. She is also the author of the poetry collection Keeper.

As its name suggests, The Thicket evokes themes of the natural world and poems often center on the less-prominent aspects of nature. Unique to this collection, the reader contends with an undefined force: it may be self, God, both, neither. Advance praise describes The Thicket as timely, serene, and observant.

Long after finishing The Thicket, I felt rocked inside its motion, a music made of wind and river current, blood, breath and wingbeat. In poem after poem Jueds leads us across the natural world, turned fabular by lavishly lyric detail, to passages unseen, through which deer spotted one moment vanish the next. The Thicket is a true beauty of a book, fully awake to the many spells of our existence.

Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore

The Thicket will be available in November, 2021, from University of Pittsburgh Press. You can pre-order the collection from Pitt or Bookshop. Find more from Kasey on her website and Twitter. Congratulations, Kasey!

Contributor Update, John Nieves

Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor John Nieves on his new poetry collection, Curio, out now. Winner of the 13th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Award, Curio, with a lens of curiosity, explores a wide range of topics, including the significance of humans and the traces we leave behind.

“Augury— ‘the bones’/ can only reveal what is asked of them,’ John A. Nieves writes in this stunning first book. Part scientist, part shaman, Nieves is unswervingly intelligent and deftly imaginative at knowing what to ask of the world. Human-scale, empathetic, and far-reaching, these poems engage the full range of the curiosity at the root of curio: the epistemological work of a mind turning/returning. From a father’s machine work to Schrodinger’s cat, archeology, bloodwork, and language, Nieves reminds us of the ‘magic / in the artifact’ and ‘in the making.”

Alexandra Teague, author of The Principles Behind Flotation

To order your copy of Curio click here. Be sure to also check out John’s website as well as his past work in Issue 9 and 15.

Contributor Update, Kelli Russell Agodon

Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor, Kelli Russell Agodon, on her forthcoming book, Dialogues with Rising Tides, out April 27th. Kelli, in this poetry collection, “facilitates a humane and honest conversation with the forces that threaten to take us under. The anxieties and heartbreaks of life―including environmental collapse, cruel politics, and the persistent specter of suicide―are met with emotional vulnerability and darkly sparkling humor. Dialogues with Rising Tides passionately exclaims that even in the midst of great difficulty, radiant wonders are illuminated at every turn.”

“Kelli Russell Agodon’s poems in Dialogues with Rising Tides, her strongest book to date, navigate everyday anxieties and dramatic questions of life-or-death with equal doses of pathos and humor, reminding us that our choices in a world of chaos add up to something, reminding us of the responsibility to ‘care for our ghosts.’ Her interior world is lined with fragments of family tragedy while her outer world confounds her, the rising tides of environmental collapse, not a metaphor but a reality. Her oceanic views of the world teeter on the edge of a cocktail or a gunshot. Funny, sad, and a perfect read for unsettling times.”

Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World

To pre-order your copy of Dialogues with Rising Tides click here. Also, be sure to check out Kelli’s website and Twitter as well as her past work in Issue 3.

Contributor Update, Kate Cumiskey

Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor Kate Cumiskey on her forthcoming poetry collection, The Women Who Gave Up Their Vowels, out June 11th. This collection spans across several generations, showcasing a family in a Florida beach town. As Kate writes, she gives voice to many characters throughout her narrative, including to the “daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, neighbor and teacher poet.” Through Kate’s poems and her exploration of both the town and the family within it, Kate expresses her love for this place as well as the people of her past and present.

Like a painter whose landscapes always have human figures in them, these poems present family, friends, and lost loved ones in vivid settings. Her mentor and friend, the late Robert Creeley, would be proud. It’s a great pleasure to see Kate Cumiskey‘s latest poems gathered in this fine book.

–Peter Meinke, poet laureate of Florida

To order your copy of The Women Who Gave Up Their Vowels click here. Also be sure to check out Kate’s website , as well as, her Authors Talk and work in Issue 23.

Contributor Update, Luiza Flynn-Goodlett

Join us in congratulating past Superstition Review contributor Luiza Flynn-Goodlett on the release of her upcoming book, Look Alive. This poetry collection explores the development of the femme queer self and assesses queerness by placing the narrator at the brunt end of societal and personal violence. The book will take its readers through a journey of queer self-discovery that involves taking to the gentle and accepting queerness of nature. Look Alive is already receiving accolades as a finalist for numerous awards, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press.

“Luiza Flynn-Goodlett’s smart, sensual, agile collection takes you to the prairie, to the creek, to the kitchen counter, to bed—muddies you, then scrubs you clean. With a speaker who keeps your secrets and shouts your glories, Look Alive reveals the enduring territory of embodied queer womanhood—efflorescent and as susceptible to pleasure as it is to harm. Flynn-Goodlett quilts together rural origins and distance traveled, along with rich image and hardwearing language, into an impressive debut with the weight of an heirloom. If you let it, Look Alive can be the guardian inoculation that pierces you with a little taste of the big grief and the big joy so you can survive them when they come.” 

Alicia Mountain, author of High Ground Coward

Additionally, there will be a virtual launch party for the book on March 4th hosted by Booksmith and The Bindery, in which Luiza will be joined by K-Ming Chang, Alicia Mountain, Arhm Choi Wild and Meg Day for a group reading. The event is free and for all ages. To RSVP click here.

Click here to pre-order your own copy of Look Alive. Also, be sure to check of Luiza’s website and Twitter, as well as, her poetry featured in Issue 17.