You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave


Product Details

New Michigan Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.1 inches | 0.12 pounds
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About the Author

maya catherine popa is a writer and teacher in New York City. She holds an mfa in Poetry from nyu and an mst in Writing from Oxford University, where she was the recipient of a Clarendon Scholarship. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barnard College in 2011. A Ruth Lilly finalist, she is the recipient of the Editors Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the Hippocrates Prize, the Gregory O'Donoghue Prize, and prizes from Narrative Magazine. Her poetry and criticism appear in Poetry, Tin House, Kenyon Review, The TLS, and elsewhere. She is a member of the English faculty and oversees the Christine Schutt Creative Writing Program at the Nightingale-Bamford school in New York City.


This is a work of seething precision. In these poems, hope is a meticulous, meditative state--a method of forensic searching and study that is carried with great care across generations. By stitching her raging images together with stillness and poise, Popa asks us to step back from our panic and look: "peeling back the hair, that quiet, necessary artifice, / to reveal a nesting doll of impulses." --Caroline Bird

In Maya Catherine Popa's You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave, feathers are unfulfilled parables, a hen's eggs turn a vicious red, and a super moon "blooms a tyranny of flowers." A helix of histories lies threaded to both the present day and the various magics of night. These poems are smart and lush, and at the end of each of them my heart, mind, and ear argue over which was lavished with the most pleasure. I am enchanted by this book, in its thrall, its bright gravity, its terribilitá. --Traci Brimhall