Maker of Shadows finds regions on the map-Mumbai, Cape Cod, the Midwest, the Middle East-and in the mind where violence alternates with laughter, and despair gives way to desire. Tropical islands soon to be submerged plead for tourists, and Sun Belt cities beckon those who would deny death. Yet these poems find humor and solace in daily life, from irreverent looks at banks, dogs, and gods, to glimpses into the inner lives of a rat exterminator and a father bathing his child. "One of the very best collections ever to grace the Texas Review Press's series. The poems are wonderfully fresh and closely packed, with a lot of superior music going on. A strong and varied collection."--X.J. Kennedy "Joshua Coben is a lyric poet of the first order, which means he understands that there are moments when form must be sacrificed to satisfy the demands of language, the only way to achieve the necessary seamlessness of truly accomplished metrical poetry. Whether writing in syllabic, accentual/syllabic, accentual or in a jazzy modulated free verse, his poems are easy on the ear, and fitting for the interestingly odd take he has in these poems on much of what we take for granted in the world. His subject is no less than the internal and external landscapes of post-modernity, and he is more than up to the task both as a poet and as a trustworthy chronicler of the random dash through space we call our history."--Bruce Weigl
JOSHUA COBEN was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He spent two years in France before moving to Boston, where he lives with his wife and three children and teaches in an elementary school. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, College English, The Evansville Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, and other journals, as well as in Arguing through Literature (McGraw-Hill, 2005).