Selected Poems

Flapped paperback
Extent: 96 pages
Trim: 15 x 24 cm
ISBN: 9781912475209
Price: £13 / £10 (ebook)


Inquiring, irreverent, reverent, enraptured, Dora Malech is that rare thing, the magician technician, and she has written a book in which a sudden segue in poetry takes place – from Hopkins to the present.

—Mary Ruefle

Malech is ferociously alert to the unconscious absurdity and desire in idiomatic speech, its mortifying blend of self-effacement and self-betrayal. The closer one stares at the dizzying, ultra-fluent surfaces of these poems, the more their grave ambiguities emerge.

—Mark Levine

Reader beware: you are handling a book as dangerous as it is delicious. Dora Malech’s passionate constraint—her fervor, her discipline, and her devotion—is exemplary and can be contagious. This collection is one of a kind.

—Stephen Yenser

Soundings is Dora Malech’s latest anthology of poems written in the last decade and appearing for the first time in a single volume. It includes works from her previously published books, Shore Ordered Ocean, Say So, and Stet.

About Shore Ordered Ocean:

By turns playful and serious, the poems in Dora Malech’s Shore Ordered Ocean revel in the inherent tensions and pleasures of sense, sound and syntax, reveal the resonance in the offhand utterance, seek the unexpected in aphorism and cliché, and tap into the paradoxical freedom of formality. This is an extraordinary collection of highly idiosyncratic poems which explores place, politics, the body, love, art, and more. It is bound together by an urgent, physical and beguiling relationship with language itself.

About Say So:

The poems in Say So are at once rigorously formal and wildly experimental. Human utterance—be it prayer or plea or pun or turn of phrase or epithet—is one of Say So’s primary pistons; poetic tradition—rhyme, meter, form, rhetoric—is another; the beauty and betrayals of the body, or bodies—echoed in the beauty and betrayal of language itself—is a third. Together, these forces provide the pressure that makes Say So move and brings these poems to life.

About Stet:

In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might bear and care for another life. Tapping the inventive possibilities of constrained forms, particularly the revealing limitations of the anagram, Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.


is the author of Stet (Princeton University Press, 2018), Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), and Shore Ordered Ocean (The Waywiser Press, 2009). Her fourth collection, Flourish, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. Her poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, and numerous other publications, and have been featured in anthologies that include The Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, Best New Zealand Poems, and The Best of Poetry London. She has been the recipient of an Amy Clampitt Residency Award from the Amy Clampitt Fund, a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize from the Baker Artist Awards, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and she has been a Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary’s College of California and a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. She is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Fiction & Poetry