“Away from the bright lights of Wembley and the Maracanã, on the ordinary, unmaintained pitches, Mark Yakich reveals where football is doing its most sacred work.” —Benjamin Gucciardi, Founder of Soccer Without Borders
[A] quietly gripping book...one as quirkily insightful as it is entertaining. — Kirkus Reviews
For its playful sincerity and idiosyncratic humor, Poetry: A Survivor's Guide has earned high praise from students, teachers, and readers from around the globe, as it offers an original take on a subject both loved and feared. In a time of great transformation and change, its unconventional advice and application is crucial now more than ever in encouraging meaningful discussion and personal growth.
Updated and expanded, the second edition probes a range of strategies for inspiring students and aspiring poets on the ways poetry relates to their own lives. These include the delights and pitfalls of individual meditation, the practicalities and pratfalls of digital learning, and the uses and utility of poetry as a tool of social change.
The second edition also includes a curated companion website for teachers, students, and aspiring poets that features poetry examples, writing prompts and exercises, and resources for publishing poetry.
“’Tears often require technology’ is just one of Yakich’s canny observations in the spiritually pained and chilling poems of Spiritual Exercises. With an enviable spareness, these poems explore the conflux of faith and betrayal within the familial realm—springing from the kind of honesty that may well scare some readers senseless.” —Cate Marvin
St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises presuppose three kinds of thought: one from within, one from the good spirit, and one from the bad. Yakich’s Spiritual Exercises adds a fourth kind—one that sees everything from a startling perspective, while gasping for breath.” —H. L. Hix
“Poets from George Herbert to Gerard Manley Hopkins turned to the spiritual exercises of 16th century churchmen and mystics as models for their meditative poems. Yakich's wise, loving, and often wry new book draws on that tradition, and renews it. Readers will find themselves tracing the thread of life from birth to death and back again, with many revelations along the way.” —Susan Stewart
“Yakich is a poet of such violent tonal shifts that you feel the pulse of the human vibrating with all of its conundrums, contradictions, and longings—irony here becomes both poison and antidote, a homeopathic shot to help us navigate earthly and celestial tides.” —Catherine Barnett
“A fascinating half century of conversations with some of the most influential writers of the last hundred years . . . a brilliant work of depth and scope.” —Seattle Book Review
“Focus[ing] on both the subjects’ artistic output and personal engagement with racism, sexism, capital punishment . . . [t]hese unusually candid conversations with authors . . . offer perspectives on aesthetics and the realities of resistance that will appeal to a range of writers and readers.” —Library Journal
“Writers of all genres will be inspired by discussions with twenty-four authors and activists . . . who share their unique perspectives on a wide range of topics covering the aesthetic and social aspects of writing.” —Poets & Writers
Airplane Reading is one of the most original collections of essays I’ve read. Each has a distinctive take on traveling, and even the less riveting narratives offer interesting, sometimes amusing, sometimes serious perspectives. What an entertaining companion for above the clouds or below. — Valerie Wieland, New Pages
The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes is both crystal clear and unfathomable—its voices are both as familiar as a next door neighbor’s voice and as alien as a next door neighbor’s life, and the comforts the poems offer are impossible comforts: “I look down and feel / Like a weed // A wind slips through.” The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes speaks to the impossible world the world has become. – Shane McCrae
Honorable Mention, Prose Awards, Association of American Publishers
Irreverent and often profound pronouncements define Mark Yakich's Poetry: A Survivor's Guide, which seeks to bridge the gap between those haughty academic treatises on verse (such as Ezra Pound's ABC of Reading) and those quaint, but ultimately limited, workbooks brimming with writing exercises ... A light yet bountiful read, Poetry: A Survivor's Guide offers concise, practical advice for those who yearn to hone their craft and deepen their appreciation for poetry's strange majesty. — Plume
National Book Critics Circle, #1 Small Press Highlight for Fiction
Yakich is an award-winning poet — a designation that arouses suspicion when such a writer attempts a novel — but this book, written entirely in the second person, is a hard-won gem. — Rigoberto González
Winner, 50 Books/50 Covers Award, Designer Observer
A trove of poignant observations and thoughtful reflections on that strangest of modern experiences: commercial flight. — Patrick Smith, Salon
Finalist, Poetry Center Book Award, San Francisco State University
This bold second collection is profane, political and humorous in its engagement with what it means to live, especially as a poet, in terrible times. — Publisher's Weekly
A poem for nine voices in unison. Illustrated by the author.
Winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Award, Selected by Mary Ruefle
Yakich’s debt to Nabokov’s Pale Fire is obvious and well earned. Like Pale Fire, this book reminds us that authorship is a fiction loved too much to be abandoned. The fictive idea of singular, proprietary authorship endures as something necessary and exacting, as another moment when “[e]ach writer limits herself to the story of her own execution” (“The Teller is the Only Survivor of the Fairy Tale Ending”). It is too easy to misread Barthes’s “The Death of the Author” as a form of critical homicide. Thankfully, Yakich enacts what Barthes’s essay actually argues: the “death” of the Author produces the simultaneous “birth of the Reader.” — Tony Trigilio
Winner of the National Poetry Series, Selected by James Galvin
Yakich's poetry radiates an aura of fresher imaginative possibilities that is invigorating in politically literal times. — San Francisco Chronicle
Mark Yakich is a poet, novelist, painter, and the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans.