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A Handbook of Disappointed Fate
A Handbook of Disappointed Fate

Anne Boyer

Essay/Criticism | $20 $15
Spring 2018
Pre-Order"Her writing is a balm and a bomb all its own."
A Handbook of Disappointed Fate highlights a decade of Anne Boyer’s interrogative writing on poetry, death, love, lambs, and other impossible questions.
Excerpt ˇ


In that year made from the minutes of our senses, we held our cognitive after-the-flood. There we were the lambs appropriating the contents of the sky and the field for the lambs. The shadows formed by clouds were a literature. We heard love songs in the nearness of each other’s backs; we saw monuments in our shared perception of quivers. We knew what was above our heads not as hawk and not-hawk: we knew the air as the air.

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About the Author

Anne Boyer
Winner of the 2018 Cy Twombly Award in Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Anne Boyer's books include A Romance of Happy Workers, My Common Heart, and the CLMP award-winning Garments Against Women. She lives in Kansas City.

Advance Praise

This book is brilliant. A consideration of Bo Diddley sits beside a treatise on “Difficult Ways to Publish Poetry”; there are jokes and lists and disease and spot-on aphorisms that sidestep true/false to become their own category of being. What makes A Handbook essential? The quality of writing, the shape of its thoughts, and the spaces of freedom it encourages in us as participants and co-conspirators. To read Anne Boyer is to join an underdog collectivity, “both always in this world and looking for another.”—Jace Clayton
Sometimes it seems that we are defeated by our very substance so we can celebrate our remains. Is this our fate? Or is it even more deadly and more numerous? Having been placed on trial and held there, in the twin intensities of love of poetry and hatred of the world, Anne Boyer’s essays meet disappointment with a succor forged in rage. Her writing is a balm and a bomb all its own. —Fred Moten
While this book is often at moments serious and profound in its indictments of the self promoting seriousness of the thing we call poetry, what I love most about it is the way it takes its whimsy so seriously. And yet it isn’t all whimsy. Because cancer shows up too. And the travails of women writers. And also Langston Hughes on trial. And Mary J Blige too.—Juliana Spahr