Poems by Simeon Berry
Selected by Denise Duhamel

The 2014 National Poetry Series selection, chosen by Denise Duhamel


“If you enjoyed Maggie Nelson’s Bluets and Eula Biss’s The Balloonists, you will love Berry’s Monograph—obsessive, prismed, wise, shameless—a whole treatise of desire formatted into tiny succulent prose poems or lyrical fictions or bites or bits or installments or glances or confessions: a collage of lovely and disturbing threads. I simply could not put it down.”
—Maureen Seaton, author of Fibonacci Batman: New and Selected Poems (1991–2011)

“With Monograph, Simeon Berry has found a new and compelling way of doing what presents, rather slyly, as autobiography. By turns acerbic, self-mocking, and gently witty, this book is made of lucid, startling sequences of squibs, or tabs, of narrative fragments about sex, love, family, books, and writing. Mostly what I wanted to do in this blurb was quote my favorite bits—look at this, look at this—but there are too many of them. Smart detail, sudden skids, Big Questions, casual idiomatic precision: Monograph has all of these, but I think it’s the quality of Berry’s attention that is most arresting of all. A book of wit and heart.”
—Daisy Fried, author of My Brother Is Getting Arrested Again

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Established in 1978 by legendary editor Dan Halpern, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Cole Swensen, Thylias Moss, Mark Levine, and Dionisio D. Martinez.

Written in narrow sections that blur the distinction between flash fiction and prose poetry, between memoir and meditation, Monograph veers from the elliptical to the explosive as it dissects the Gordian knot of a marriage’s intellectual, sexual, and domestic lives. Invoking Raymond Chandler, Pythagoras, Joan Didion, and Virginia Woolf as presiding spirits, Simeon Berry curates the negative space of each wry tableau, destabilizing the high seriousness of every lyric aside and slipping quantum uncertainty into the stark lineaments of loss.

The National Poetry Series

Page count: 96
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $16.95

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Simeon Berry has been an associate editor for Ploughshares and won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant and a Career Chapter Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters. His first book, Ampersand Revisited, was selected for the 2013 National Poetry Series. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.